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Electrician George Peltz Pleads Guilty To Criminal Charges Linked To Federal Probe Of IBEW Local 98, John Dougherty

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A New Jersey electrician has pleaded guilty to criminal charges linked to a federal probe of IBEW Local 98. It's the union headed by John Dougherty.

On Monday morning, a New Jersey electrical contractor with long ties to Dougherty admitted to unlawfully providing thousands of dollars in benefits to an unnamed Local 98 official.

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Sources close to the investigation say this all ties into the lengthy federal probe which became a public spectacle in August 2016. That's when FBI agents, working with the IRS, served warrants on more than a half-dozen locations, including the Local 98 union headquarters on Spring Garden, as well as Dougherty's house in South Philadelphia.

"These are labor intensive cases and they're usually done very thoroughly," said Linda Dale Hoffa, a former federal prosecutor and a partner at the Dilworth Paxton Law Firm.

She is not involved in this case but says there is a reason the government has not named who the union member is.

"It could be this is a prelude to going after official number one, but let's be clear, this document does not say who this official number one is," said Linda.

George L. Peltz, the owner of MJK Electric, pleaded guilty to 10 federal charges, including tax evasion, theft from employee benefit plans and unlawful payments to a union official. Peltz's attorney confirms that union official is with IBEW Local 98, but would not confirm who that person is.

The indictment shows Peltz bought and installed a security system and LED displays worth nearly $40,000 for the union official.

MJK Electric also performed electric maintenance work valued at nearly $3,000 for the union official's relative.

He also provided gift cards, electronics and large-screen televisions to the union official and that person's family members.

It's unclear whether Peltz agreed to cooperate with investigators during his plea agreement.

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Sources tell CBS3 that federal charges could be filed against Dougherty and up to 13 other people involved in IBEW.

CBS3 reached out to Dougherty's spokesperson and he's not able to comment.

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