Report: UAW Probe Ramps Up As Feds Raid Union Boss's Home
The long-running federal probe into dirty dealings between domestic automakers and the United Auto Workers cranked up a few notches on Wednesday, with federal agents reportedly raiding the home of UAW President Gary Jones and ex-UAW boss Dennis Williams.
Sources told The Detroit News that raids were carried out in three states as investigators attempt to uncover just how high in the organization the corruption went. The move comes less than three weeks before UAW-Detroit Three contracts expire.
As you’ve read here, the investigation recently turned its focus from the union’s Fiat Chrysler reps to UAW officials tasked with dealing with General Motors. Earlier this month, federal prosecutors indicted Michael Grimes, a former UAW administrative assistant, on charges of money laundering and wire fraud. The feds accuse Grimes of accepting nearly $2 million in kickbacks over more than a decade.
That indictment adds to an earlier pile of tainted UAW officials tied to the FCA file. To date, nine indictments and eight convictions have resulted from the probe into a years-long flow of lavish bribes and kickbacks between the automakers and union.
From The Detroit News:
Federal agents fanned out to execute search warrants at multiple locations, including Jones’ home in Canton [Michigan] and at the UAW Black Lake Conference Center, a 1,000-acre retreat in northern Michigan financed with interest from the union’s $721 million strike fund, which is bankrolled by worker dues.
Investigators also raided the UAW Region 5 office near St. Louis, where Jones served as regional president before being elected president last year.
The UAW Region 5 office in Hazelwood, Missouri, also was the registered address for Jones’ nonprofit charity, 5 Game Changers. The News previously reported FBI agents are focused on whether UAW leaders personally profited from contributions to their personal nonprofits.
A further raid reportedly took place at Williams’ home in Corona, California. The former UAW prez, who has a target painted on his back after damning testimony by UAW official Nancy Adams Johnson, bought the property in January following his retirement in June 2018. Williams is said to have funnelled automaker cash through the UAW’s training centers and into the pockets of union officials.
The raids couldn’t have occured at a more awkward time, as bargaining continues between the UAW and officials from the Detroit Three. The current contract expires on September 14th, with many predicting that domestic belt-tightening will result in a strike.
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