Busted: Former FCA Analyst Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy
Automotive conspiracies are all the rage right now. However, my current favorite is the cooperative machinations between Fiat Chrysler employees and UAW representatives to embezzle millions from a joint training fund.
On Tuesday, former FCA financial analyst Jerome Durden entered a guilty plea at a hearing in federal courtroom in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Durden aims to cooperate with prosecutors (in exchange for a reduced sentence) as they build their case against other conspirators — specifically Alfons Iacobelli, FCA’s former head of labor relations, and Monica Morgan, widow of General Holiefield, the UAW’s former head of its Chrysler division.
The pair are alleged to have the siphoned over a million dollars from the FCA-UAW Joint Training Center between 2009 and 2014, blowing the majority of it on home expansions, fancy cars, first-class plane tickets, and extravagant baubles. Meanwhile, Durden was caught failing to file a tax return for the approximately $4,000 he received in 2013. Oh, and for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government.
Durden was controller of the training center from 2008 to 2015. He was also employed by FCA as a member of the company’s corporate accounting department. Fiat Chrysler fired him after corruption allegations surfaced in June of 2015.
According to Automotive News, Durden faces a maximum of 37 months in federal prison when he is sentenced on December 12th in Ann Arbor’s U.S. District Court. The majority of that time is due to the conspiracy charge and not the misdemeanor tax snafu. He entered his guilty plea on Tuesday morning to Judge John Corbett O’Meara.
The stolen training funds were supposedly used to pay for new carpeting at Durden’s home. Granted a $10,000 unsecured bond on Friday, he remains free pending sentencing and completion of a pre-sentence report by the court.
A September 25th trial date has been set for Iacobelli and Morgan. Having died in 2015 after a year-long battle pancreatic cancer in 2015, Holiefield will obviously not be on trial. As his widow, Morgan will be facing the brunt of the wrath stemming from the IRS and FBI’s joint investigation.
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Any relation to Tyler? At least he didn't conceal injury liability information from the general public while blackmailing FCA to obtain the funds. He could have used those proceeds to construct instruments of terror to obliterate the financial records of which I am sure his prosecution is making much use.
Weren't we having a union discussion just the other day here? And the argument was, workers need unions and union management to ensure that the workers...what was that again? How is it that unions help the workers? Sure enough the unions--the union management--helps itself.