For any UAW employees out there who still think their union is anything more than a ponzi scheme designed to effectively tax membership while enriching a few 'bosses' at the top of the pyramid, you should probably take note of a federal indictment that was filed late last week alleging that Chrysler executives conspired with UAW leaders to siphon millions in funds earmarked for employee training to line their own pockets.
As Automotive News points out, as of now, only two Chrysler employees have been charged but the indictment lays out a scenario in which many more charges could be levied against Chrysler employees and other high-ranking UAW officials who may have been involved.?
The indictment, unsealed last week, describes the alleged illegal dealings of former FCA labor relations chief Alphons Iacobelli, deceased UAW Vice President General Holiefield and his widow, Monica Morgan, a prominent Detroit photographer. Morgan will be arraigned in a Detroit federal court today, July 31. Iacobelli will be arraigned Tuesday, Aug. 1.
Federal investigators claim the three were at the center of a conspiracy from 2009 through 2014 that included Iacobelli personally pocketing $1 million and helping funnel $1.2 million from the UAW- Chrysler National Training Center to Holiefield, Morgan and other high-ranking members of the union.
The indictment specifically mentions at least eight unnamed people while vaguely mentioning "other" groups of people. Separately, federal officials announced fraud charges against former FCA financial analyst Jerome Durden, who is accused of creating false tax returns to hide payments to Holiefield, Iacobelli and other beneficiaries who were not identified.
"More could be charged," said Peter Henning, a former federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., and professor at Wayne State University Law School. Henning said it's typical in investigations such as these for additional witnesses, informants and co-conspirators to be named after the initial round of arraignments.
So, what did they buy with their embezzled funds?