View The Plea Deals Behind the UAW Corruption Headlines

by

As the UAW corruption investigation continues to trickle out headlines, so do the plea deals that create the headlines. The National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR.org) compiled those plea agreements for your convenience.

money-ruffle

Downloadable Copies of UAW Scandal Related Plea Deals

Gary Jones’ plea deal leaves several UAW officials yet to-be-named by the Justice Department. The identities of UAW Official B, UAW Official C, UAW Official D, and UAW Official E currently remain a public mystery. While publicly these UAW officials are a mystery, it is believed that the Justice Department already has their names and is strengthening the cases against each.

Gary Jones (former UAW President)

Ex-UAW President Gary Jones pleads guilty in corruption probe, prays for forgiveness

UAW’s Gary Jones takes a plea deal
[Detroit Free Press, June 3, 2020]  Gary Jones was entrusted to lead the UAW, the same union once led by labor icon Walter Reuther, but on Wednesday, Jones admitted his role in a corruption scheme that tarnished the union’s clean image.

Jones will now need to cooperate with prosecutors as the case proceeds if he hopes to secure a shorter prison sentence.

The 63-year-old who joined the UAW in 1975 and led the union of 400,000 members until last year pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to embezzle union funds and to use a facility of interstate commerce to aid racketeering activity and tax evasion. Jones and others were accused of embezzling more than $1.5 million. Each of the two counts carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, the guidelines call for a maximum sentence of 57 months.

Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press

From the Gary Jones’ Plea

Gary Jones admits participating in an ongoing “Conspiracy to Embezzle UAW Funds.” 

During the course of the conspiracy, while Gary Jones, Edward N. Robinson, Vance Pearson, [unidentified] Union Official B, UAW Official C, Union Official D, and [unidentified] UAW Official E, were officers of the United Auto Workers or were employed directly by the United Auto Workers, they did embezzle, steal, and unlawfully and willfully abstract and convert to their own use more than $1 million· of the moneys, funds, property, and other assets of the United Auto Workers. …

… While officers or employees of the United Auto Workers, Gary Jones, UAW Official B, UAW Official C, UAW Official D, UAW Official E, Vance P􀫔arson, and Edward N. Robinson were involved in a multifaceted scheme to embezzle funds from the UAW. One facet of the scheme involved fraudulently obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars of UAW funds from the UAW headquarters, the UAW Southwest CAP; and the VA W Midwest CAP.

Matthew Schneider, United States Attorney

Norwood Jewell (former UAW Vice President)

Ex-UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell pleads guilty in training center scandal

Former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell, a top union official accused of wining, dining, and golfing with money meant for blue-collar workers, pleaded guilty Tuesday to his role in a corruption scheme involving Fiat Chrysler executives buying off labor leaders.

Jewell, the highest-ranking former UAW official charged in the case, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Paul Borman, admitting that he violated a federal labor law that prohibits the exchange of gifts between auto officials and labor leaders.

Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press

Vance Pearson (former Director of UAW Region 5)

Former U.A.W. Official Pleads Guilty in Corruption Scandal

UAW’s Vance Pearson also took a plea deal in the ongoing corruption investigation (image source FOXBusiness)
[New York Times, February 7, 2020] Vance Pearson was once the deputy to the former union president Gary Jones, who has been portrayed as one of the orchestrators of an embezzlement scheme.

A former top official of the United Automobile Workers union pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring with fellow officials in a scheme that siphoned hundreds of thousands of dollars in members’ dues to support spending on villa rentals, lavish meals, golf clubs and golf outings.

The official, Vance Pearson, a former head of the U.A.W.’s vast Region 5, which has run from Missouri to the West Coast, could face up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

Noam Scheiber, New York Times

Jeffery Pietrzyk (former “Senior UAW Official and Co-Director of UAW-GM Center for Human Resources”)

Aide to ex-UAW VP, GM board member pleads guilty in corruption probe

[Jeffrey] Pietrzyk, 74, of Grand Island, New York, had been an aide to ex-UAW vice president and former GM board member Joe Ashton. Pietrzyk pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in a scheme where prosecutors said he and other union officials conspired to take hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks in a 12-year conspiracy that ended in 2018.

Specifically, prosecutors say he is directly responsible for taking $123,000 in kickbacks from UAW vendors and contractors in a conspiracy involving millions of dollars in watch and jacket contracts. Pietrzyk, who is free on a $10,000 unsecured bond, faces a potential prison term in the middle of the 24- to 30-month sentencing guidelines and has agreed to pay a $123,000 judgment.

Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press

Monica Morgan (UAW vendor, wife of former UAW Vice President General Holiefield)

Wife of Former UAW Vice President Sentenced to Prison for Criminal Tax Fraud

Monica Morgan seen here with Hillary Clinton (image source: Automotive News)

Monica Morgan, 54, of Harrison Township, Michigan had previously pled guilty in February 2018 before United States District Judge Paul D. Borman.  During her guilty plea, Morgan admitted to filing fraudulent tax returns whereby she failed to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in income for the years 2011 through 2014.  In total, Morgan failed to pay $190,747 in taxes owed.

Morgan is the wife of former UAW Vice President General Holiefield, who died in March of 2015.  From 2010 to 2014, Holiefield was the director of the UAW Chrysler Department and acted as the lead negotiator and the lead administrator for the collective bargaining agreements between the UAW and FCA.

According to court records, Morgan owned and operated the companies Monica Morgan Photography and Wilson’s Diversified Products based in Detroit, Michigan.  Morgan’s companies received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center during the years when Holiefield was a UAW Vice President.  Morgan’s companies also received significant payments from Holiefield’s charity, known as the Leave the Light On Foundation.  Former FCA Vice President Alphons Iacobelli and former FCA Financial Analyst Jerome Durden each acknowledged using Wilson Diversified Products and the Leave the Light On Foundation to conceal payments made on behalf of FCA to UAW Vice President Holiefield.  Both Durden and Iacobelli have previously pleaded guilty to their participation in the criminal conspiracy, along with former FCA executive Michael Brown and former senior UAW officials Virdell King and Keith Mickens.  Durden, Iacobelli, Brown, King, and Mickens are all awaiting sentencing before Judge Borman.    

Morgan’s various companies received hundreds of thousands of dollars in money funneled by FCA executives to Morgan and Holiefield, all in effort to keep UAW executives like Holiefield “fat, dumb, and happy.” 

U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Michigan

Alphons Iacobelli (former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Labor Relations Chief)

Plea deal points to widening UAW scandal

DETROIT — A plea deal released last week in the UAW-FCA scandal has laid bare what a tangled web the corruption case has become: Federal officials are questioning whether recent contract agreements are valid, union leadership is under siege from angry rank-and-file members and more charges are expected.

The plea deal was between federal officials and ex-Fiat Chrysler Automobiles labor relations chief Alphons Iacobelli, who pleaded guilty last week to two of seven charges related to his role in siphoning more than $4.5 million in training center funds to union and company officials.

For the first time since the investigation was made public in July, the feds say that the alleged actions were intended to influence union decisions and collective bargaining agreements, which were ratified in 2011 and 2015. …

Jackie Charniga and Michael Wayland, Automotive News

Michael Grimes (former UAW Administrative Assistant to Vice President Cindy)

UAW official Mike Grimes pleads guilty, cites economic hardship

Ann Arbor — In the continuing federal crackdown of corruption inside the United Auto Workers, a former assistant to a union vice president told a federal judge Wednesday that he committed financial crimes because he was facing economic hardship.

Mike Grimes, 65, of Fort Myers, Florida, pleaded guilty in the federal courtroom on charges of wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering. The government said Grimes received $1.99 million in kickbacks from union vendors.

Kalea Hall and Robert Snell, The Detroit News

Joseph Ashton (Former UAW Vice President)

Ex-UAW boss pleads guilty to corruption, rigged $4M watch deal

A retired powerful union boss and onetime General Motors board member pleaded guilty Wednesday to corruption, admitting he rigged a $4 million contract for 58,000 custom-made UAW watches and pocketed $250,000 in kickbacks along the way.

Retired UAW Vice President Joseph Ashton admitted before a federal judge that he crafted the watch deal knowing it was wrong, and secretly betrayed the trust of the autoworkers he was supposed to look out for.

According to court records, Ashton drafted the watch contract, steered it to his contractor friend — his personal chiropractor — and demanded a $250,000 kickback in exchange. …

Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press

Virdell King (former UAW Official)

Disgraced UAW official spared prison after cooperating with feds

Detroit — Federal prosecutors Friday started rewarding high-ranking leaders of the United Auto Workers for cooperating with an ongoing bribery investigation of the U.S. auto industry.

Virdell King, a former UAW official who betrayed rank-and-file workers by pocketing as much as $15,000 in bribes from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles executives during a conspiracy to keep labor leaders” fat, dumb and happy,” was spared going to federal prison Friday.

King, 67, was sentenced to 60 days in prison in November but remained free because she and other former UAW and Fiat Chrysler officials continued to cooperate with a corruption investigation that has produced eight convictions and led to a shakeup of the top ranks of the Detroit-based auto industry.

Robert Snell, The Detroit News