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Gary Jones President Of Uaw 2018 Bill Pugliano Getty

Former UAW Chief Gary Jones Charged with Embezzling $1 Million

March 5, 2020
Attorney of the District of Easter Michigan, Matthew Schneider, says corruption allegations into the auto union are ongoing.

Ex-President of the United Auto Workers Gary Jones was formally charged March 5 with embezzling more than a million dollars from the union he led. According to the unsealed information, Jones conspired with Vance Pearson and Edward Robinson, fellow UAW leaders, to steal the funds. According to prosecutors, the money was used to purchase expensive villas, golf equipment, cigars and other luxury goods.

Following a long-running investigation into leadership at the auto union, the FBI raided Jones’s house in August 2019. That September, Pearson, a UAW regional director was arrested on charges of money laundering and wire fraud. Jones was implicated in the document charging Pearson, but not indicted or charged. On October 31, Robinson, president of a regional UAW community action program council, was charged with conspiracy to embezzle as much as $700,000.

The next week, on November 3, Jones took a leave of absence from the union, which was gearing up to renegotiate contracts with Fiat Chrysler. “I do not want anything to distract from the mission,” said Jones at the time, in a statement. “I want to do what’s best for the members of this great union.” The Vice President of UAW, Rory Gamble, was appointed Acting President in his absence. Later that month, Jones resigned from his position and was subsequently forced out of the union.

A March 5 statement from the UAW was unsparing in its criticism of Jones. “Jones and all who betrayed the trust of our union should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law, with no exceptions,” it said, and asserted that the UAW is currently implementing reforms to rid the union of corruption entirely.

That might not be enough. Reuters reports that Matthew Schneider, the District Attorney for eastern Michigan, said at a press conference that investigations into corruption are ongoing. Schneider even speculated that a government takeover of the UAW might be necessary. “If it worked for the Teamsters, maybe it could work here,” Schneider said. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters was placed under the control of a government trustee in 1989 following racketeering violations.

Jones faces a maximum of five years in prison and fines up to $250,000 if convicted. 

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