The former secretary-treasurer of Bath Iron Works’ largest labor union was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison for embezzling more than a quarter-million dollars from the union, largely to support his and his wife’s drug addiction.

Ryan Jones, 35, of Bath was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Portland by Judge George Z. Singal for embezzling $280,865 from Local S6 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The judge also ordered Jones to serve three years of supervised release after his prison term ends, and to pay $280,865 in restitution.

Jones pleaded guilty on Sept. 6, 2017, to a single count of embezzlement of union funds.

Jones served as secretary-treasurer of Local S6 from 2009 until January 2017. U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank said in a statement Monday that court records indicate Jones stole the funds between May 2012 and November 2016. His tenure as a leading union official ended after he failed to win re-election. Newly elected union officials discovered significant discrepancies with union finances and confronted him.

Frank said the discrepancies led to an investigation that revealed Jones made almost 200 unauthorized withdrawals from the union’s bank account, that he fabricated monthly bank statements to conceal his withdrawals, and that he provided fabricated bank statements to deceive union auditors.

The investigation was conducted by the Bath Police Department, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


In a sentencing memo filed last week in U.S. District Court, Jones’ attorney, Richard S. Berne of Portland, asked the judge to consider a lower sentence of one year followed by a substantial term of supervised release that would allow Jones to continue his addiction recovery.

“We sincerely hope Your Honor will consider our recommended sentence for this very flawed, but very good man, who made a terrible mistake,” Berne wrote.

In a telephone interview Monday night, Berne said Singal “carefully considered all the factors and circumstances” surrounding his client’s case, and though the sentence the judge imposed was longer than requested, “it was a very thoughtful and appropriate resolution.”

Berne said in court documents that his client attended local schools in the midcoast before going to work for Bath Iron Works at the age of 19.

In his leadership role in Local S6, Jones was active politically at the State House and on Capitol Hill, where he attended meetings to advocate for congressional funding for new ships to be built at BIW.

In 2012, Jones decided to tap into union funds “to maintain a lifestyle created” by his and his wife’s “interdependence on partying, drugs, and alcohol,” and the embezzlement continued through 2016, Berne told the court in his sentencing memo. “How much of Ryan’s participation was fueled by the terrible things he was doing at work to mask his crime is impossible to determine, but his eventual spiral from alcohol and marijuana abuse to alcohol and cocaine addiction in 2015 sealed his fate.”


Berne said his client has been “clean and sober” for nine months.

In the sentencing memo, Berne also said that Jones is in the midst of recovery, not only from addiction to drugs, “but also from the chaos of his uncharacteristic conduct. As the court is aware, Ryan’s strengths lie in his connection to the people in his life – his family and co-workers most importantly. He has lost much through this prosecution, but ironically, it may have saved his life.”

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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