SAG-AFTRA Ripped Off By $23,000 In “Business Email Compromise”, But Union In Strong Financial Shape


SAG-AFTRA recently was ripped off to the tune of nearly $23,000, according its latest financial report filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. “The union incurred a loss of $22,910.64 as a result of business email compromise,” the guild said in its annual LM-2 filing for the 12-month reporting period ending April 20.

It’s the first time the union has reported such a loss since the merger of SAG and AFTRA in 2012. The guild did not respond to a request for comment.

Still, the annual report, which gives a broad overview of the union’s finances, shows that the guild is fiscally strong, though its ranks have declined by nearly 8,000 members since the first full year after the merger – down from 168,593 active members in 2013 to 160,868 today. And this year, there are only 92 more dues-paying members than last year.

Dues payments, however, hit a record $105.7 million this year – up from $101.3 million the year before and just slightly more than the $105.1 million the year before that.

Since the merger, the guild’s assets have climbed steadily, nearly doubling from $171 million in 2013 to over $312 million this year, with liabilities totaling $245.8 million this year compared with $224 million last year. Total receipts approached $218 million this year, with disbursements nearing $190 million, indicating that the performers union is operating strongly in the black.

David White REX/Shutterstock

This year, the guild spent nearly $84.7 million on representational activities – more than ever before – and $57.8 million on general overhead, also a record.

The annual report, which also includes a listing of the wages of all of its employees – shows that David White, the guild’s national executive director, earned a salary of $703,706 during the reporting period, which was up 6.2% from the $662,195 he’d earned the year before. Total salaries paid to all employees was just shy of $46.8 million this year, which was up from $44.3 million the year before, but down from the $49.1 million paid out in the first full year after the merger, before economies of scale kicked in.

The annual reports show that the guild spent more than $901,000 on political activities and lobbying this year, and more than $5.1 million during the past five years. The guild also paid out more than $1.7 million in gifts, contributions and grants this year, and nearly $5 million over the last five years. The union also paid the AFL-CIO, to which it is affiliated, over $1.4 million in per capita taxes this year, and more than $6 million over the last five years.

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