By on June 3, 2020


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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18 Comments on “Ex-UAW Prez Pleads Guilty to Racketeering...”

  • avatar

    I blame Tesla.


    • 0 avatar

      It’s all about the panel gaps, boys. It’s all about the panel gaps.

    • 0 avatar

      “I blame Tesla.”

      Nikola? For what?

      • 0 avatar

        Nikola Tesla – where to begin. Let’s start small:

        – Apparently with Nikola Tesla I’m supposed to focus on the brilliance of his technical innovations, instead of tsk-tsking his personal mannerisms and unconventional social life. As a small-minded lemming, I find this unacceptable.

        – Henry Ford’s camping buddy Thomas Edison was doing just fine with DC power until the troublemaker Nikola Tesla showed up with his dangerous ideas about AC power (ask the elephants which Edison had to nobly put down). Thankfully the vast majority of modern internal combustion automobiles immediately ‘rectify’ (SWITD?) the inferior AC into DC power at nice safe low voltages* ** because innovation sucks.

        * Low voltage means high amperage which means heavy conductors to haul around during the life of the vehicle burning additional fossil fuels, but hey who is counting? Efficiency is for losers.

        ** There are rumors of extremely high voltages in some locations around the engine bay, but I don’t put much stock in them.

  • avatar

    This kind of behavior, and worse, made labor unions an easy target for greedy capitalists and led to their utter destruction and a tragedy for the fortunes of Americans workers. There really is no punishment great enough.

    • 0 avatar

      Indeed, you would think given the already bad reputation union leaders would be more cognizant of the damage something like this could do both near and long term.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Their actions were selfish, immoral, and against everything we stand for as a union.”

    Agreed. If I was a dues-paying member, I’d demand to know what reforms will be enacted so the Feds don’t have to police the UAW with years-long investigations, indictments, fines, and prison terms.

    Per aajax’s point above, this will cement the opinion of the workers at the transplants and at Tesla that they don’t want a union. I happen to agree with them, but avoiding such corruption is just one reason.

  • avatar

    I have to agree with @aajax and SCE to AUX. Unions are an endangered species in the USA and this sort of high profile criminality amount union management is very destructive to “the cause”. Workers need a voice that can speak for them. That voice has to be trusted. An “up to 57 month sentence” isn’t enough.

    • 0 avatar

      If you’ve ever seen the graft and corruption that goes into big union politics, this is very easy to understand. Union officials make a lot of dough both on the clock (from massive overtime at double and triple time rates) and from bribes and payoffs from various sources.

  • avatar

    I was always convinced, after watching Hollywood movies, that unions in US were always controlled by Mob, a.k.a. Mafia. Isn’t how Kennedy beat Nixon in elections? With little help from Mafia, hmm Unions?

  • avatar

    I was always convinced, after watching Hollywood movies, that unions in US were always controlled by Mob, a.k.a. Mafia. Isn’t how Kennedy beat Nixon in elections? With little help from Mafia, hmm Unions?

  • avatar

    Every time I see this photo of this guy, I keep expecting him to split into two and become the monster from the thing.

  • avatar

    Thank you for changing the lead-in photo!

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar

      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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