Ex-UAW Prez Pleads Guilty to Racketeering

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Gary Jones, the former United Auto Workers president who stepped down last November amid growing suspicion of wrongdoing, pleaded guilty Wednesday to involvement in a racketeering scheme that saw UAW officials soak themselves in funds earmarked for workers.

Jones is the biggest fish thus far caught in a wide net cast by federal investigators — a net that’s captured nearly a dozen current or former UAW execs with their hands in the till. In the former UAW prez’s case, more than a million dollars’ worth of union dues flowed not into training programs or other benefits, but into lavish living and high-priced toys.

Will Jones see a lengthy term in the clink, you ask? What do you think?

As reported by The Detroit News, prosecutors could have gone for a 5-year term, but instead suggested a jail sentence of up to 57 months. Jones’ cooperation in the ongoing probe into union corruption earned him a shot at a reduced sentence.

Federal agents arrested Jones in early March, charging him with embezzlement, racketeering, and tax evasion. With the assistance of four co-conspirators, prosecutors say Jones conspired to divert funds earmarked for workers towards trips, expensive villas, golf equipment, cigars, and high-end (up to $400 a bottle) booze. Jones and others hid the goodies in the expenses of official UAW conventions and certainly didn’t inform the IRS of the side income at tax time.

From The Detroit News:

Jones admitted wrongdoing after federal prosecutors and a team of investigators from the FBI, Internal Revenue Service and Labor Department portrayed him as a thief who tried to convince an underling to take the blame while obstructing the investigation. Investigators spent years building a case against him with undercover recordings, bank records and a team of former confidantes and senior UAW officers who cooperated with the government.

Prosecutors claim Jones’ malfeasance ran from 2010 until September 2019, just two months before he resigned after being named in the trial of another UAW official. Jones’ tenure as president lasted only 16 months.

Appearing via video from an undisclosed location, Jones said, “I apologize to my UAW family for this betrayal of trust and pray that they will forgive me.”

Whether or not that happens, Jones’ fate will be decided by U.S. District Judge Paul Borman. He’ll also forfeit more than $151,000.

In a statement, current UAW president Rory Gamble said, “Former President Gary Jones and others abused their high-ranking positions and violated the trust of our members. Their actions were selfish, immoral, and against everything we stand for as a union.”

[Image: UAW]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Jun 03, 2020

    Thank you for changing the lead-in photo!

    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jun 04, 2020

      With that microphone setup, someone is going to Disney World!

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Jun 04, 2020

    Anybody who pleads guilty has a sweetheart deal with prosecutors. Chances are, that 57 month term will be greatly reduced, and whatever time he serves will be in one of the fed's country club minimum security lockups.

    • FreedMike FreedMike on Jun 04, 2020

      Depends on the crime. Remember James Holmes, the orange-haired wacko who shot up the theater in Aurora, Colorado? He actually tried to plead guilty and take a life sentence, only to have the D.A. reject it (the D.A. is a Republican and had his eyes on higher office and figured a death-penalty conviction was his ticket with the GOP Hang 'Em High types). As a result, the whole thing turned into a two-year media circus that cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Bottom line? The jury bought Holmes' claim that he was out of his damn mind (possibly because - radical concept alert - he really was), and gave him life instead.

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  • Tassos Generally I prefer that exploited labor remain domestic like in the service and trade industries. Given the complex and global integration of supply chains and materials sourcing I accept that most manufacturing must be managed by foreign 'kapos'.
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  • Chuck Norton Toolguy- I have. It's hard on the knees...
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