A union official who lives in Nesconset was indicted Tuesday on federal charges that he and another man embezzled about $375,000 from the New Jersey local where they both worked.

Stephen Arena, 55, president of Local 148 of the Production Workers Union, and the union chapter's secretary, David Caivano, 55, of Bloomfield, N.J., were arrested and charged with giving themselves unauthorized salary increases, bonuses and paid vacations, according to a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman of the District of New Jersey.

The two face multiple embezzlement charges in a 29-count indictment. At their court appearance Tuesday in federal court in Newark, U.S. Magistrate Judge Esther Salas set bail for each suspect at $250,000. Their next court date is Monday.

If convicted, the suspects face 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the charges against them.

Neither Arena nor his lawyer, Nicholas Kaizer of Manhattan, could be reached Tuesday. A message left at the union local's office was not returned.

According to the indictment, Arena and Caivano stacked the union's executive board with people who turned a blind eye to their misdeeds, then granted themselves numerous raises and bonuses. Caivano falsified the minutes of the union meetings to make it appear that the raises and bonuses had been approved, the indictment says.

In each year from 2005 to 2007, they have voted themselves $300-a-week salary increases as well as holiday bonuses, according to the indictment.

From 2006 to 2010, Arena traveled to Florida to attend union conferences, the indictment says. After the conferences ended, Arena remained in Florida and charged the union for his expenses, including thousands of dollars in hotel bills, the indictment says.

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