Former UAW Official Charged in Fiat Chrysler Payoff Case – New York Times

Posted: Saturday, August 19, 2017

The government said that Jerome Durden, a former Fiat Chrysler official, conspired to divert more than $4.5 million in training center funds. He pleaded guilty on Aug. 8 to conspiracy and preparing false tax returns and faces up to 37 months in prison under a plea deal.

A former Fiat Chrysler vice president for employee relations, Alphons Iacobelli, was charged last month with making $1.2 million in improper payments to a former union vice president and his wife. He has pleaded not guilty.

The former union vice president, General Holiefield, retired in 2014 and died of pancreatic cancer the following year. His widow, Monica Morgan, was charged in the case last month.

According to court documents, Mr. Iacobelli told senior U.A.W. officials that they could use training center credit cards to make personal purchases, stating, “If you see something you want, feel free to buy it.”

The government said in court documents that at least five senior U.A.W. officials, including Ms. King, had made personal purchases with the credit cards.

The U.A.W. president, Dennis Williams, said Friday the union was “disheartened by the misconduct alleged in today’s indictment.”

David P. Gelios, an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Detroit, said that “years of fraud and corruption within a select group of the F.C.A. and U.A.W. hierarchy continue to be eroded through the diligence and collaboration of law enforcement.”

Fiat Chrysler’s chief executive, Sergio Marchionne, said last month that the “deplorable” conduct “had nothing whatsoever to do with the collective bargaining process.” The company also said in July that the crimes were neither known to nor sanctioned by Fiat Chrysler. The company declined to elaborate on Friday.

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