Former UAW President Pleads Guilty To Embezzlement, Racketeering, & Tax Evasion

Gary Jones admitted to spending $750,000 of UAW money on luxury entertainment

WWJ News
June 03, 2020 - 7:49 pm

In this July 16, 2019, file photo, Gary Jones, United Auto Workers President, speaks during the opening of their contract talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Auburn Hills, Mich. Jones is taking a paid leave of absence amid a federal investigation of corruption in the union. The UAW said Jones requested the leave, which is effective Sunday, Nov. 3. The federal government has been investigating fraud and misuse of funds at the UAW for more than two years. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

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(WWJ) Former United Auto Workers Union (UAW) President, Gary Jones, was almost devoid of emotion as he read from a statement admitting to a long list of crimes; according to WWJ Auto Beat Reporter, Jeff Gilbert.

The U.S. Attorney, Matthew Schneider, said Jones, 63, pleaded guilty to embezzlement, racketeering and tax evasion charges.

Jones admitted to conspiring with at least half a dozen UAW officials to embezzle money for “lavish entertainment and personal spending,” according to the Attorney’s press release.

This includes at least $750,000 in UAW funds in golf clubs, private villas, golfing apparel, green fees at golf courses and high-end liquor and expensive meals; Schneider said.

Jones is accused of using $13,000 in UAW money to buy cigars in just one year. UAW officials say the embezzlement took place from 2010 to 2018.

The former UAW President also fessed up to accepting over $60,000 in cash from co-conspirator, Edward Robinson. Robinson is accused of cashing half a million dollars in fraudulent UAW Midwest CAP checks and embezzled money, according to the release.

Jones pled guilty to conspiring with other UAW officials to file fake tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.

The Texas native served as President of the UAW between June 2018 and November 2019. The UAW serves more than 400,000 active members and 580,000 retirees in 600 unions across the country.

Many say Jones’ guilty plea is not enough.

Steven D’Antuono, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan, said the probe into the suspected ‘corruption’ at the UAW is far from over.

 “While this guilty plea is a welcome development, it does not represent the end of this investigation. As I said before, the FBI will continue to work on this case until we are satisfied that everyone who should answer for these crimes is brought to justice,” he said.

Nine people with ties to the UAW have already been charged in the corruption probe. All of them have been sentenced to at least a year in prison. Many are slated to spend even more time behind bars.

Alphons Iacobelli, former FCA Vice President for Employee Relations, was slapped with the longest sentence with 66 months (more than five years) in prison.  

Five more UAW officials have plead guilty and are awaiting sentencing. 

“Gary Jones’ guilty plea today shows that the corruption within the UAW International Union extended all the way to the top office. Instead of fulfilling his sacred fiduciary duty to his fellow union members, Jones chose to betray their trust and embezzle over a million dollars from the UAW for himself and other high-ranking UAW officers,” Thomas Murray, District Director, U.S. Department of Labor, said.

Jones faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $250,000.