UAW's Former Leader Accused of Embezzling $1M

Gary Jones is charged with corruption
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 5, 2020 11:39 AM CST
UAW Chief Allegedly Stole $1M From His Own Union
A 2019 photo of Gary Jones, then president of the United Auto Workers.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Federal prosecutors on Thursday charged the former president of the United Auto Workers with corruption, alleging he conspired with others at the union to embezzle more than $1 million, per the AP. Gary Jones, who quit his post in November, has been under scrutiny for months. Agents conducted a public search of his suburban Detroit home last summer. Key allies also have pleaded guilty as part of the government's sweeping corruption probe. Jones was charged with conspiracy in a document titled a criminal “information,” which signals that a guilty plea is likely. Ten union officials and an official's spouse have pleaded guilty since 2017. The investigation began with the discovery that Fiat Chrysler money from a Fiat Chrysler-UAW job-training center was stolen. But it then stretched to embezzlement of union funds.

The court document describes a scheme to enjoy the high life. Jones and other officials set up accounts that were supposed to be used to pay legitimate conference expenses in California, according to the government, but officials instead used the funds to pay for “private villas, high-end liquor and meal expenses, golfing apparel, golf clubs and green fees." The union now is led by Rory Gamble, who has promised to reform the culture in the UAW's top ranks. As part of that effort, a Michigan vacation home built on union property for retired President Dennis Williams is listed for sale at $1.3 million.

(Read more United Auto Workers stories.)

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