UAW-Chrysler Training Center Suing to Recoup $4.4 Million of Embezzled Funds
The UAW-Chrysler National Training Center, which remains in the midst of a multimillion-dollar federal corruption scandal, is suing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles officials and a union leader’s widow for over $4.4 million in damages. If you’ll recall three FCA employees filed a federal lawsuit against the automaker and the UAW seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages over allegations that union officials colluded with company executives to influence collective bargaining earlier this year.
Now it’s time for the National Training Center to get a piece of the action. The lawsuit, filed Friday in Oakland County Circuit Court, targets former FCA labor negotiator Alphons Iacobelli; Monica Morgan-Holiefield, the widow of former UAW Vice President General Holiefield; and ex-FCA financial analyst Jerome Durden. Money was believed to be funneled through the training facility by a policy created by company officials to bribe UAW leaders into giving the automaker favorable treatment during collective bargaining.
Iacobelli has already stated as part of his plea deal that he and other FCA employees transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal payments to tax-exempt organizations controlled by UAW officials. Court documents state that he “knowingly and voluntarily joined a conspiracy in which FCA and FCA executives and FCA employees [agreed] to pay and deliver, and willfully paid and delivered, money and things of value to officers and employees of the UAW.”
Investigators have already put together a laundry list of items the money was used to purchase, some of it it wildly frivolous. Alphons himself is alleged to have used the money to improve his mansion, purchase a Ferrari, and buy two Montblanc fountain pens priced at $35,700 apiece. Holiefield and his widow are similarly accused of having used the funds to renovate their home, install a pool, and take several extravagant vacations. However the full extent of the financial misappropriation remains unknown. The investigation is ongoing and has even expanded. Last November, the FBI admitted that it was looking into Ford and General Motors as well.
“This is really an egregious victimization of the [National Training Center], which had to be addressed,” Walter Piszczatowski, one of the center’s lawyers, told The Detroit News. “When somebody takes money that doesn’t belong to them and puts it in their pocket, they need to pay it back and be held accountable.”
The lawsuit accuses Iacobelli and Durden of fraud, fraudulent concealment, breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment and civil conspiracy. The training center also sued Iacobelli’s wife, Susanne, under the assumption that center funds were used to pay for over $868,000 in personal charges on her credit card. Morgan-Holiefield was also slapped with $539,219 in damages while Durden and Mr. Iacobelli saw charges of $70,300 and $2,661,189, respectively.
Interestingly, the National Training Center is not listed as a victim of the conspiracy in the federal court documents and is not entitled to restitution paid by those who have pleaded guilty so far in the criminal case. That money goes to the government, as none of the seven people indicted thus far were ever officially charged with defrauding the center or embezzling money. The National Training Center’s lawsuit also doesn’t reference all of the individuals that have been indicted, possibly because it’s unclear how much they’ve benefited.
Join the conversation
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Tassos SNAAB shot itself in the foot when it BASTARDIZED its unique brand by BADGE ENGINEERING its vehicles with GOD DAMNED GM, OPEL, CHEVY, LANCIA and who knows what other automotive RIFF RAFF. I know of no Saab Enthusiast (they do exist) who felt sorry when the stupid maker went BANKRUPT.
- 28-Cars-Later Example is located in Coldwater Michigan, so..." needs work -- including new brakes."Brakes, brake lines, probably fuel lines. Probably should hit the master cylinder too unless there are seal only kits for it."It has an automatic transmission."Likely needs a new one of those as well."an exhaust leak"Add an exhaust to the list."an inaccurate speedo."Wow and TMU to boot!These days five to six bills isn't too horrible but this example could turn into a headache really quick due to parts availability. The right buyer for this is a small time tradesman, the HVAC guy who was just leaving my house is rolling a late P80 Volvo 850 sedan in manual which he treats like a truck. Said he'd love a wagon if he ever came across one... if you're local to Coldwater Michigan this is a nice work beater. Annual inspection/registration tax probably costs nearly as much as the car.
- 2ACL Amazing price, but that's (IMO) a reflection of the interest in an old 2.0T repmobile made interesting only by being a wagon. The Epsilon 9-3 was a sanitized take on the Saab formula. That's not to say it lacks interesting variants, but this isn't one of them. If it had a stick, maybe. But this generation's automatics are sealed and known to become temperamental if not serviced. If the owner can't provide proof of regular servicing, run.
- Tassos The 3 lt turbodiesel should be FAR, FAR more efficient than the 6.2. ANything that walks would be more efficient than the 6.2. Are you kidding me?The 3 lt turbodiesel in my 4,000 lb+, 208 HP, 400+ LBFT E320 Bluetecs is more efficient than even the 2.2 lt ICE with its meager 125 HP in my 1990, only 2,822 lbs, Accord Coupe 5 speed LX. 100%. I have the full detailed records to prove it beyond any doubt. I consistently get over 35 MPG HWY, which I never got with the Accord (usuallt 32-33 tops)The big question is, will GM ask $5k more for the diesel than for the gas version, as usual? Mercedes only asked $1k m ore for the diesel, $51k vs $50k for the gas back then, which you would recover in just ONE YEAR of average miles driven.
- Cprescott Lucid has the right idea about building cars - I agree that these have a presence to them and certainly make all Teslas look like cheap golf carts with doors in comparison. I hope Lucid survives because they actually build luxurious products and not pretenders like Tesla.
A prime example of company and union working together for a common goal !