Former UAW president Gary Jones formally charged in embezzlement scheme

Jones is latest in long list of people charged in scandal

DETROIT – Former United Auto Workers (UAW) president Gary Jones faces federal charges for an alleged scheme to embezzle more than $1 million dollars from the union, according to a criminal document.

According to the document filed Feb. 27, Jones, along with co-defendants Vance Pearson and Edward Robinson, conspired to embezzle union funds for their own personal use between 2010 and September 2019. Here is the filing (view here if it’s not showing below):

In November 2019, Jones resigned from his position shortly after the UAW International Executive Board voted to begin Article 30 proceedings against him and his indicted right-hand man, Pearson. He had just led the union through a 40-day strike against General Motors.

The FBI had already raided Jones’ Canton Township home in August.

Pearson pleaded guilty in February in the conspiracy to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars from the UAW so he and other officials, including Jones, could live a “lavish” lifestyle, buying golf equipment, expensive villas, cigars and more. He admitted during a plea hearing that he conspired with at least six other senior UAW officials in a multiyear conspiracy to embezzle money from the UAW for personal benefit, officials said. Pearson and other officials hid their person expenditures in the cost of UAW Region 5 conferences held in Palm Springs, California, Coronado, California and Missouri, according to authorities.

Robinson was charged in October 2019. Robinson was the president of a United Automobile Workers Midwest Community Action Program. He was charged with conspiracy to embezzle union funds and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Both Jones and Robinson also are expected to plead guilty to charges.

11 officials already have pleaded guilty in scandal

Eleven people have pleaded guilty in connection with the ongoing investigation into illegal payoffs to UAW officials by FCA executives and corruption within the union, according to authorities.

Here are the other UAW officials who have already pleaded guilty to a role in the scheme:

  • Former FCA Vice President for Employee Relations Alphons Iacobelli -- 66 months in prison
  • Former FCA Financial Analyst Jerome Durden -- 15 months in prison
  • Former Director of FCA’s Employee Relations Department Michael Brown -- 12 months in prison
  • Former senior UAW official Virdell King -- 60 days in prison
  • Former senior UAW official Keith Mickens -- 12 months in prison
  • Former senior UAW official Nancy A. Johnson -- 12 months in prison
  • Former senior UAW official Monica Morgan, the widow of UAW Vice President General Holiefield -- 18 months in prison
  • Former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell -- 15 months in prison
  • Former VP of UAW’s General Motors Department Joseph Ashton -- pleaded guilty and awaiting sentencing
  • Former senior UAW official Jeffrey Pietrzyk -- pleaded guilty and awaiting sentencing
  • Former senior UAW official Michael Grimes -- pleaded guilty and awaiting sentencing
  • Former UAW officials Edward “Nick” Robinson has been charged in a criminal information, but his case is still pending

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