DETROIT – You have a bank account and checking account.
You can go to the ATM with your card, pop it into the slot and get money out. But if you’re a United Auto Workers (UAW) union official, then you have another card for the company account, or the union account.
Federal officials say Timothy Edmunds did just that and spent about $2 million in UAW funds on personal expenses.
Edmunds, 53, of South Lyon, served as the financial secretary-treasurer of union Local 412 from 2011 until 2021. That local is in Warren and serves Stellantis plants. Edmunds is charged with theft, or embezzlement, of union funds, failing to maintain required union records, money laundering, filing false financial reports and making false entries into the union books.
He became a high-roller. Here he is in Greektown Casino with a smile as big as the cash he flashed:
The criminal complaint also says Edmunds purchased a quarter of a million dollars in high-end SUVs, and bought at least 10 firearms. The feds say he went on shopping sprees and also used the money to pay some of his child support.
The complaint shows checks he allegedly used and tells of $1.5 million in bank transfers, nearly $1 million in American Express e-checks, $225,000 in cashier checks $350,000 in checks made payable to himself.
The UAW released the following statement Wednesday when the federal complaint was announced:
“Under the UAW’s enhanced auditing process, UAW internal auditors discovered improper personal expenditures by the UAW Local 42 financial secretary. While we are outraged that dues were embezzled, we are encouraged that the UAW auditors themselves discovered and reported this misuse of union dues.”
A read of the complaint also shows that there was a high skill level here from Edmunds because he was able to defeat a number of audits in previous years. The feds are quick to say that the local officials, other than Edmunds, did not know about the embezzlement.
The feds say Edmunds took out a number of checks and did them with vouchers and they had the union local president’s other signature on it. Investigators did a handwriting analysis and showed while it was a good forgery, it was still a forgery and the union local president had no knowledge of it.