By on July 26, 2017

Chrysler HQ Auburn Hills

Former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles labor relations chief Alphons Iacobelli and Monica Morgan, wife of late UAW Vice President General Holiefield, have been charged by a federal grand jury with violating the Labor Management Relations Act.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Detroit, the pair were indicted on Wednesday for corruption after a lengthy joint investigation between the FBI and the IRS.

Iacobelli is accused of acting in the interest of FCA by issuing over $1.2 million in illegal payments and bribes to union members — including Morgan and Holiefield. The former union executive’s untimely death appears to have thrust his widow into the spotlight and saved him the trouble of a lengthy trial.

Morgan is best known for her work as a photographer in Detroit, and for being accidentally shot in the stomach by her husband while he was cleaning his Desert Eagle handgun in 2013. Iacobelli is primarily known for negotiating killer deals with the UAW and an abrupt, scandal-related, retirement in 2015. 

The indictment charges Iacobelli and others associated with FCA for making prohibited payments from 2009 to 2014 to Morgan, Holiefield, and others. According to The Detroit News, the document claims the payments bought designer clothing, extravagant jewelry, furniture, and paid off a $262,219 mortgage on Holiefield and Morgan’s residence in Harrison Township. The alleged payments were made via the bank and credit card accounts of the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center in Detroit.

Additionally, Iacobelli has been charged with multiple tax violations related to the diversion of over $1 million in funds from the same account into his own. That money is believed to have gone into extensive home renovations, a pool, hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal credit card expenses, the leasing of a private jet, a $350,000 Ferrari 458 Spider, and two Mont Blanc pens costing $37,500 each.

While it’s a shame FCA didn’t provide Iacobelli with a serviceable company car while it still held ownership of Ferrari, it’s still wrong to embezzle prospective bribery funds to purchase a 458 Spider. However, purchasing two pens for $75,000 should be a crime in itself. That level of flagrant decadence is simply unacceptable. Having never written with a five-figure pen,  I am comfortably certain the difference between Uni-Ball and Mont Blanc is less notable than Dodge and Ferrari.

Meanwhile, Morgan was also charged with using her photography company, Wilson’s Diversified Products, and a third business to hide payments made by Iacobelli and others from FCA to Holiefield and herself.

“Today’s indictment alleges an outrageous abuse of power and misuse of this Chrysler executive’s position of trust. The diverted funds from the [National Training Center] could have and should have been used to benefit Chrysler employees,” Manny Muriel, special agent in charge of the Detroit office of the IRS department of criminal investigations, said in an official statement. “IRS Criminal Investigation and our law enforcement partners are particularly committed to stopping those individuals who use double fraud schemes to defraud corporate funds, bribe others for their own gains and cushion their personal wallets.”

Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, Daniel L. Lemisch, also announced the charging of former Controller of the UAW Jerome Durden with conspiracy to defraud the United States by impairing, impeding, and obstructing the Internal Revenue Service. Additional FCA employees and UAW members are referenced in the indictment; however, their names were redacted, as was Durden’s.

General Motors hired Iacobelli in January of 2016 as its executive director of labor relations, though it’s unclear if he’s still employed by the automaker. GM has yet to issue comment, much like the UAW, while FCA has stated it is unaware of any malfeasance and is holding the accused employees and the National Training Center, which it was clear to mention is an “independent legal entity,” fully responsible.

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14 Comments on “Former FCA Labor Chief and UAW Widow Charged in Union Corruption Conspiracy...”


  • avatar
    jalop1991

    yawn.

    Let us know when you can tell us something we don’t already know or can’t guess.

  • avatar
    RS

    Water is wet, night is dark, union officials are corrupt. At least this story has a tale of charges being brought. What kept them from bring these charges years earlier?

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      The hidden evidence?

      Crimes happen every day. False equivalency: We all speed– we all forget to use our turn signals(or the courtesy blinker doesn’t engage when we try to hit it for a lane change) and not every infraction is caught. When we don’t get caught, the crimes become more blatant. This is when we finally get ourselves into trouble.

      I’m guessing this is the case here. They just got sloppy after having gotten away with so much for so long.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    It’s the rank and file who should be upset. This sort of shenanigans only bolsters the union stereotype, which works against their cause.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      Absolutely it’s the rank and file who should be upset. I’ve said it for as long as I can remember: union members need representation against union management.

      On the other hand, I don’t understand why this is criminal behavior. It’s a business arrangement between an automaker and someone they do business with. I say, let the whole arrangement find its natural level of business, which of course is this. Too bad if the union members are too stupid to realize what they’ve gotten themselves into.

      Or maybe they know, and are perfectly happy with the situation–in which case, no harm no foul.

      Either way, it’s their stew, let them bubble inside it.

      • 0 avatar
        Erikstrawn

        You don’t understand why it’s criminal behavior for people to take bribes to work against the best interest of the people they have agreed to represent? What part of bribery do you think should be legal?

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          I understand that the people who chose them as representatives, should bubble inside the stew they chose to make.

          The entire union thing is pure BS and is bad for everyone. The whole concept is destined to turn into this very mess. If the union members choosing that life can’t see it, and are happy with it, then who am I to judge.

          The whole thing is a set of private arrangements. People are allowed to act against their own self-interest. Let big government stay out of it.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @SCE to AUX….Good point. Unfortunately the” rank and file” don’t have much input, until election time. These scandal’s are usually swept under the rug.

      Voters have short memories ..eh.

  • avatar
    raph

    Hah, amateurs! That’s what separates a union boss from a senator and congressman!

  • avatar
    mikey

    @raph…Exactly..!…Corruption crosses all socio economic lines…In this particular case, the scandal involved a high ranking Labour relations official. One would think a man in his position would be a little smarter.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      Mikey, you’re unfortunately entirely correct. In my years as General Counsel, I got to see a number of senior managers and executives destroy their careers through financial misdeeds. In most cases, the amounts were tiny compared to what they were being paid, but the destruction of trust had inevitable consequences. I was surprised that people would risk so much for so little.

  • avatar
    Manta9527

    If Mr. Iacobelli, Mrs. Morgan and their associates were willing to get involved in such activities, then I doubt they were acting in the interest of FCA. The way I figure it, they were only acting in the interest of themselves.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Amateurs, they need to follow our esteemed leader in DC to really know how to solicit and accept bribes. Yes, I’m looking at you DT. BTW, this is not a political statement,.

  • avatar
    No Nickname Required

    Color me surprised…


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