The Detroit News has posted some interesting new news regarding the federal investigation into the corruption scandal between both the United Auto Workers (UAW) officials as well as some former employees at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). According to reports, the investigation has uncovered some corruption that dates back to the 2009 bankruptcy surrounding then Chrysler LLC.
The investigation has uncovered illegal payoffs, kickbacks, as well as embezzlement from the top brass at both FCA and the UAW. So far, 13 people tied to the UAW and FCA have been charged in federal court, and prosecutors have implicated at least 7 others in the conspiracy. Even former UAW President Gary Jones, who recently resigned is accused of stealing as much as $700,000 from workers and trying to cover up crimes.
According to prosecutors, the situation was fueled by the $12.5 Billion in taxpayer-funded bailout money, that was surrounding Chrysler LLC’s emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the summer of 2009. The Detroit News has reported that former FCA Vice President for Employee Relations Alphons Iacobelli, who is currently serving 66 months in federal prison, initiated the corruption. According to the U.S. Attorney Office in Detroit, Iacobelli and FCA made more than $9 million in illegal payments over 8 years to the UAW, to cover salaries and benefits, for “no-show” jobs at a joint UAW-FCA training facility in the Metro Detroit area.
Prosecutors are also saying that Iacobelli, who worked with UAW negotiations, answered directly to former FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, who passed away last year. Marchionne who was never charged with any wrongdoing in the investigation was reportedly lying to investigators about providing “gifts” to UAW leaders during a meeting at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit, back in 2016. The Detroit News article also states that prosecutors believe that Marchionne tried to buy the support of certain UAW leaders to get leniency with the UAW after his repeated push to get a merger between FCA and General Motors (GM). It certainly leads to the question of Marchionne’s legacy amidst the investigation.
FCA isn’t the only company under fire about the UAW investigation, as some with the GM side of the union have also been arrested. We will continue to follow the investigation as more comes into light. It also brings into question what the UAW does with its members’ funds, behind the scenes?
But to get the full released details of the investigation, you can visit The Detroit News’ in-depth coverage of the UAW investigation.
VIDEO: WXYZ Detroit