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Former labor union officer accused of embezzling over $100K

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FARGO — A former labor union official has been charged with embezzlement after allegedly taking nearly $108,000 from his organization while serving as its treasurer.

According to an indictment filed in North Dakota U.S. District Court, Chad Michael Waldoch is accused of committing the fraud while serving as secretary-treasurer of SMART Local 980 between January 2012 and October 2017.

SMART is an AFL-CIO affiliated union that represents sheet metal, rail, air and other transportation workers and represents more than 200,000 members.

Waldoch was arrested Friday, Feb. 14, charged and released without bail, according to federal court records.

A jury trial is scheduled for March 31. If convicted, he will be required to forfeit any property or money derived from the alleged crime. Judge Daniel M. Traynor will preside over the case after Chief Judge Peter D. Welte recused himself.

Waldoch's Fargo-based attorney Luke Heck said Tuesday that it was too early to comment on any specific allegations, though said his client takes them "very seriously."

This story has been updated to include comment from Waldoch's attorney.

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