Ex-UAW Prez Pleads Guilty to Racketeering

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ex uaw prez pleads guilty to racketeering

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]

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4 of 18 comments
  • 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.

  • Tassos Now as for the Z specifically, Car and Driver had a comparison test of the new Z400, a car that looks good on paper, with plenty of HP etc, but, despite the fact that the cars that win in those tests are usually brand new models that are more up to date than their aging rivals, the Z finished DEAD LAST in the test, to my ovbious surprise.
  • Arthur Dailey Sorry but compare that spartan interior to the Marks that Corey is writing about. 'A cigarette lighter'. Every Mark had 4 cigarette lighters and ashtrays. And these came standard with 'a 3.4-liter, 182-horsepower straight-six in the engine compartment and a five-speed manual transmission'. Those do not tick off many of the luxury boxes aspired to by 'the greatest generation'.Not sure about the 7 series but one of My Old Man's associates showed up once with a brand new 5 series circa 1977 and they gave him such a bad time that he traded it for a Fleetwood within a week.
  • Tassos I clearly have no sentimental attachment to any cars from the 80s. I myself drove a Dasher (passat) wagon with horrible reliability, and then a Pontiac 2000, very fuel efficient for its time with its 1.8 lt and 5 speed, but a small econobox crudely made, with no luxuries inside. But most other cars of the era were really CRAPPY, unsafe, both in terms of passive AND active safety, had very few options modern cars have, etc etc. The best car I owned then was a 1991 Honda Civic 5-sp hatch, but that was also an 80s design that was on sale from 1987-1991. Not just the domestics were crappy then, but so were m ost of the imports. As you can see, I have ZERO "nostalgia" for any of these, especially not for the unreliable, poorly made JUNK from DATSUN-NISSAN, which is widely reviled overseas as a maker of small pickup trucks that are the favorites of Gypsies selling watermelons from their bed.
  • Tassos While Acura was the first Japanese attempt to sell 'luxury' (or "premium") vehicles in the US market, and despite its original good success in the near-luxury segment with the Legend and the far smaller and less expensive Itegra (a glorified Civic), it later lost its momentum and offered a series of underwhelming vehicles. It sure is not a LUXURY maker, and as long as it offers FWD or AWD and NOT RWD vehicles, it will never be taken seriously as a serious sports cars maker. Infiniti is much worse, and if both of them go under, few will notice. Lexus was more successful, offering pimped up TOyotas for 10,000s more, but there is NO vehicle in their lineup, esp now that they scewed up the only serious entry (the LS), that I would care to consider. AND I say all this as a very satisfied owner of 5-speed Honda coupes and hatchbacks (a 1991 Civic hatch and a 1990 Accord Coupe).
  • Mike Beranek Yet another reason to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles charged with energy from wind & solar with modern, non-Monty Burns nuclear as a backup.