UAW VP Joseph Ashton Gets 30 Months, Took Bribes and Kickbacks

Joseph Ashton, former vice president of the UAW’s General Motors Department, was sentenced today to 30 months in federal prison for conspiring with other UAW officials to engage in honest services fraud by taking $250,000 in bribes and kickbacks from a UAW vendor and for conspiring to launder the proceeds of the scheme announced Sarah Kull, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit, Michigan office of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations.

In December 2019, Joseph Ashton, of Ocean View, NJ, pleaded guilty to conspiring with two other high-level UAW officials—Michael Grimes and Jeffrey Pietrzyk—to take hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks from vendors doing business with the joint UAW-GM Center for Human Resources (CHR). Grimes and Pietrzyk have also pleaded guilty. Grimes was sentenced to 28 months in prison and Pietrzyk is awaiting sentencing.

“It is imperative that UAW leadership continues to be held accountable for their selfish acts of greed,” stated Sarah Kull, Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation in Detroit. “Today’s sentence is another step forward in our efforts to rid the UAW of corrupt leaders who abuse their positions to line their own pockets and tarnish the reputation of UAW officials.”


More sentencings pending and many think there is at least one more indictment in the works.

According to the Justice Department and the IRS report, The following participates in the the schemes have already pleaded guilty:

  • Alphons Iacobelli, former FCA vice president for Employee Relations (66 months in prison)
  • Jerome Durden, former FCA financial analyst  (15 months in prison)
  • Michael Brown, former director of FCA’s Employee Relations Department (12 months in prison),
  • Monica Morgan, the widow of UAW Vice President General Holiefield (18 months in prison),
  • Norwood Jewell, former UAW vice president (15 months in prison)
  • former senior UAW officials:
    • Virdell King (60 days in prison)
    • Keith Mickens (12 months in prison)
    • Nancy A. Johnson (12 months in prison)
    • Michael Grimes (28 months in prison)

And, the following UAW officials are awaiting sentencing after accepting plea deals:

  • Gary Jones, former UAW president
  • Jeffrey “Paycheck” Pietrzyk, former senior UAW official
  • Vance Pearson, former UAW Region 5 director and UAW board member
  • Edward “Nick” Robinson, former UAW Midwest CAP president
  • Dennis Williams, former UAW president