Former Conroy Gloves employees express anger at boss

Some former employees of Conroy Gloves expressed sadness and anger Tuesday at having been cheated


Some former employees of Conroy Gloves expressed sadness and anger Tuesday at having been cheated out of a profit-sharing pension plan by their former employer.

Conroy Gloves President Brian J. Conroy, 61, of Gloversville pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to embezzling more than $330,000 from the company’s employee pension plan.

Gladys Oare said she worked for Conroy Gloves for 30 years as an import supervisor, retiring in 2007 at 84 years old. She said she feels betrayed by Conroy.

“I’ve been a widow for 32 years. I worked for them as a widow and this is the thanks I got, when I thought I would have a profit share to enjoy and do things in my home and live on and it was taken away from me,” she said.

“I was very surprised because he had made promises that he was going to pay us over a period of three years and we kind of believed in him because he was our boss and my boss for 30 years and I never thought to this day that he would have done what he did. It’s a sad situation.”

Federal officials said Monday that Conroy notified the eight participating employees in 2006 that the fund held about $335,000. But from 2001 to 2007, officials said, he wrote himself and other companies he controlled a series of checks totaling $338,000, draining all but $10.29 from the account.

Barbara Carpenter, 70, said she worked for Conroy Gloves from 1982 until 2006 as a supervisor in the company’s finishing room. She said she and some other pensioners were laid off because of lack of business.

She said she grew suspicious when Conroy became evasive when she started requesting her pension payout.

“Every time you’d say something to him he’d give you an excuse [and say] ‘it’ll be a little bit longer, it’ll be a little bit longer.’ We went through that for three years,” she said. “I didn’t think Brian would do anything like this. My heavens, his father would kill him if he was alive. There was no more honest guy around than Joe Conroy. Brian, I think he would crook his own mother.”

Carpenter and some of the pensioners began contacting law enforcement authorities about the pension plan, including the U.S. Dept. of Labor and Internal Revenue Service. Carpenter said she believes she and the other pensioners helped blow the whistle on Conroy’s embezzlement scheme.

Some pensioners at Conroy Gloves invested their own savings with the pension plan, while others had a profit sharing benefit with the plan without any contribution from their salaries.

Carpenter said she never invested any money with Conroy, but said he still owes her about $38,000 from her profit-sharing benefit.

“I didn’t put anything into it. He said we could if we wanted to but I didn’t. I’m very glad I didn’t.”

A third pensioner contacted Tuesday expressed sadness at the situation but did not want to comment publicly.

Conroy will be sentenced April 20 in U.S. District Court in Binghamton, where he faces a penalty that may include a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000. As part of his plea bargain, he agreed to pay full restitution.

Oare and Carpenter both said they hope they will receive at least some of their pension money if and when Conroy pays the restitution.

“We honestly don’t know. It’s still uncertain,” Carpenter said. “I hope we get something. I’m getting by on my Social Security but we could use it.”

Categories: Schenectady County

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