Happened To...
An update on past news

Ex-UPW director and
daughter still free on bail

Question: What ever happened to former United Public Workers state director Gary Rodrigues, who was convicted in November 2002 of federal mail fraud, money laundering and embezzlement?

Answer: Rodrigues and his daughter who was also convicted, Robin Haunani Rodrigues Sabatini, remain free on bail pending an appeal before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The 9th Circuit has scheduled oral arguments Aug. 9 in San Francisco, said Doron Weinberg, Rodrigues' San Francisco-based attorney. "We certainly feel very strongly about this appeal."

A federal jury found Rodrigues guilty as charged of 101 counts including mail fraud, money laundering and embezzlement in connection with the union's medical and dental contracts. Prosecutors alleged that Rodrigues negotiated consulting fees in the contracts that went to his daughter, who performed little or no work, and without the knowledge of the executive board. He was also convicted of receiving kickbacks from the union's life insurance carrier. His daughter was found guilty of 95 counts, including mail fraud and money laundering.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra sentenced Rodrigues in October 2003 to five years, four months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay $378,000 in restitution. Sabatini was ordered to serve three years, 10 months in prison, with three years of supervised release, and $377,000.

Although his legal woes are not over, Rodrigues is doing well, said attorney Eric Seitz, who represents him in three civil matters in state and federal court that have been put on hold pending the outcome of his appeal. Rodrigues remarried after the trial and is now working, Seitz said.

Meanwhile, Rodrigues has received permission from the court and the U.S. probation office several times since his sentencing to travel to California and Bend, Ore., where he owns property and built a home.

This update was written by Star-Bulletin reporter Debra Barayuga.

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