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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-13-2018, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Holiefield widow gets 18 months in auto industry corruption scandal

Holiefield widow gets 18 months in auto industry corruption scandal

July 13, 2018

Detroit — The widow of United Auto Workers Vice President General Holiefield was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison Friday for a tax crime intertwined in a widening federal investigation of the auto industry and labor movement.

Monica Morgan-Holiefield, 55, of Harrison Township, is the first person sentenced in a scandal that has led to criminal charges against seven people and reshaped the top ranks of the auto industry as FBI agents investigate all three Detroit automakers.


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Wearing a funeral black dress, she stared straight ahead as U.S. District Judge Paul Borman issued the sentence that capped the downfall of an accomplished photographer who prosecutors say succumbed to greed, living a high-flying lifestyle with money flowing from a conspiracy involving Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and the UAW.

"This was not some slip-up," Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gardey told the judge. "It was a cold and calculated effort to get money for herself and her husband ... to satisfy simple greed."

The scandal has aired damning allegations about Fiat Chrysler and the UAW conspiring to violate the Labor Management Relations Act, which prohibits employers or those working for them from paying, lending or delivering money or other valuables to officers or employees of labor organizations — and makes it illegal for labor leaders to accept such items.

The sentencing Friday illustrated the gulf between prosecutors and Morgan-Holiefield's defense lawyer, Steve Fishman. He wanted her to serve a probationary sentence for a single tax crime, while the government wanted Borman to consider the underlying conduct and illegal benefits they say she enjoyed. The benefits include more than $32,000 worth of flights, a $43,300 pool and $260,000 to pay off her mortgage.

Borman said the crime was not merely a straightforward tax offense.

"The defendant failed to report the source of income from criminal activity," he said.

Morgan-Holiefield benefited "handsomely" from illegal payments from Fiat Chrysler to her late husband and used shell companies to hide the income and criminal activity, prosecutors said. The payments were part of a broader effort by Fiat Chrysler to keep UAW leaders "fat, dumb and happy" and wring concessions favoring the automaker, according to the government.

In pushing for a 27-month prison sentence, prosecutors labeled Morgan-Holiefield a fraudulent tax cheat who stole $190,000 from taxpayers to bankroll a lavish lifestyle. Her lawyer said Morgan-Holiefield should be spared prison because she has paid more than $100,000 in restitution and is unlikely to reoffend.

Morgan-Holiefield, who also was fined $25,000 and ordered to pay $190,747 in restitution, will be followed soon by five others who have struck plea deals with the federal government, including former Fiat Chrysler labor negotiator Alphons Iacobelli.

“Morgan was punished for cheating on her taxes and for helping to conceal hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal payments from FCA executives to Morgan and her husband ...," U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said in a statement. “The court’s sentence for Morgan vindicates the honest tax payers who properly report their income and pay their taxes, while sending a strong signal to those who would steal from everyone in the community through tax fraud.”

Morgan-Holiefield pleaded guilty in February to filing a false tax return and prosecutors agreed to drop a five-year conspiracy charge and other counts related to the scandal. Morgan-Holiefield admitted failing to pay $190,747 in taxes from 2011-2014.

Two dozen supporters attended the sentencing and the reception line waiting to embrace Morgan-Holiefield stretched halfway to the rear of Borman's courtroom. She left the courthouse flanked by friends and will report later to an undisclosed prison.

Borman cited her long history of community involvement in varying downward from a 24-30 month sentencing guideline range. He also noted 45 letters written by supporters and public officials, including state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, a Democrat whose district covers northwest Detroit, and media magnate Kevin Adell.

Borman declined to release the letters, which are sealed in federal court.

In asking Borman for leniency, Morgan-Holiefield's lawyer faulted the media for dragging her "through the public mud." He faulted the prosecutor for trying to penalize Morgan-Holiefield for the illegal payments, instead of just a tax crime.

"He wants you to say 'she's just as bad as her late husband, just as bad as Al Iacobelli, and you should nail her,'" Fishman told the judge.

Fishman cited the dozens of sealed letters from supporters, which prove Morgan-Holiefield has spent her life helping people.

"That counts more than people who find the Lord after finding the courtroom," Fishman said.

Gardey, the prosecutor, read the letters and was left with the impression of a savvy businesswoman, a strong-willed intelligent entrepreneur. Morgan-Holiefield flew first-class and stayed at resorts with money from Fiat Chrysler that was supposed to benefit blue-collar UAW workers, he said.

"She is someone who knew exactly what she was doing and chose to commit a crime," Gardey said.

Federal prosecutors have labeled the United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV as co-conspirators in a widening corruption scandal, an allegation at odds with claims the labor union and automaker were victimized by rogue employees.

Federal prosecutors say the union and Fiat Chrysler conspired from before 2009 through 2015 to violate the Labor Management Relations Act and the automaker enabled nepotism to flourish at a blue-collar training center.

“The misconduct by certain individuals in this case has been disturbing," UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg said in a statement Friday. "Importantly, however, the wrongdoing did not involve union funds or affect our collective bargaining agreements. The UAW has taken strong measures to prevent a reoccurrence of this type of misconduct and our new leadership team continues to oversee improvements in our operations and financial controls.”

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Former Senior UAW Official Pleads Guilty

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 23, 2018
Former Senior UAW Official Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy with Fiat Chrysler Executives

The former second highest official in the UAW’s Chrysler Department pleaded guilty today to conspiring with other UAW officials and Fiat Chrysler executives to make illegal payments to union officials, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider.

Joining in the announcement were James Vanderberg, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, Timothy R. Slater, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit, Michigan office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Manny Muriel, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit, Michigan office of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, and Thomas Murray, Acting District Director, U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Nancy A. Johnson, 57, of Macomb, Michigan pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Labor Management Relations Act by accepting and arranging for illegal payments from Fiat Chrysler executives to high-level UAW officials from 2014 through 2016. After the now-deceased UAW Vice President General Holiefield retired in 2014, Johnson and other UAW officials began running the UAW’s Chrysler Department, responsible for dealing with executives at Fiat Chrysler. During the plea hearing, Johnson admitted to participating in a conspiracy that had existed at least from 2009 through 2016 whereby Fiat Chrysler executives conspired with one another, with Fiat Chrysler, with UAW officials, and with the UAW to funnel money and things of value worth tens of thousands of dollars from Fiat Chrysler to UAW officials and the UAW. The things of value funneled to UAW officials from Fiat Chrysler included personal travel, golf resort fees, lavish meals and parties, limousine services, designer clothing, designer shoes, golf equipment, electronics, and an Italian shotgun.

Johnson’s guilty plea indicated that a high-level UAW official directed other UAW officials to use money supplied from automobile manufacturing companies through joint UAW training centers to pay for travel, including travel solely for purported union business, as well as lavish meal and other entertainment costs of senior UAW officials and their friends, family, and allies. This directive was issued in order to reduce costs to the UAW budget from such expenditures because the UAW’s budget was under pressure.

Johnson’s plea also stated that In 2014, 2015, and 2016, in Palm Springs, California, high-level UAW officials used UAW funds to pay for extravagant meals, premium liquor, multi-month stays at condominiums, and multiple rounds of golf for little, if any, legitimate union-business or labor-management purposes. These expenditures were in addition to other expenses paid for by Fiat Chrysler by way of the training center.

As another part of the conspiracy, Johnson’s plea indicated that during the period 2014 through 2016, 100% of the UAW salaries of a large number of UAW officials and employees, nominally assigned to the NTC, was paid for by FCA through the NTC. FCA paid these salaries for the UAW even though senior UAW officials and FCA executives both knew that these UAW officials and employees “assigned” to the NTC spent most of their work time performing tasks for the UAW, reported to the UAW, and enforced FCA’s compliance with the collective bargaining agreement on behalf of the union and not for the benefit of FCA or the NTC.

Johnson is the seventh defendant to plead guilty in connection with the ongoing criminal investigation into illegal payoffs involving UAW officials and FCA executives. The following individuals have already pleaded guilty to their participation in the scheme: former FCA Vice President for Employee Relations Alphons Iacobelli, former FCA Financial Analyst Jerome Durden, former Director of FCA’s Employee Relations Department Michael Brown, former senior UAW officials Virdell King and Keith Mickens, and Monica Morgan, the widow of UAW Vice President General Holiefield.

“Today’s conviction of yet another senior UAW official further exposes the dishonorable scheme between UAW officials and Fiat Chrysler executives to corrupt the collective bargaining process at the expense of rank and file union members,” said United States Attorney Matthew Schneider. “The conviction reveals that part of this scheme involved the wrongful use of UAW funds for extravagant meals, entertainment, golf, and travel for little, if any, union-business purpose.”

“Nancy Johnson held a high-level position in the UAW and was entrusted to negotiate and implement contracts for the UAW union members she served. Instead, Johnson defrauded the membership by illegally obtaining items worth thousands of dollars, including jewelry, clothing, and other personal items, knowing that FCA was paying the bill. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate corrupt union officials who violate their duty to the members they represent for personal gain.” stated James Vanderberg, Special Agent-in-Charge, Chicago Region, United States Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.

“Today’s guilty plea from Nancy A. Johnson, a former senior UAW official, demonstrates the continued efforts of the FBI along with our law enforcement partners to hold those persons misusing funds, whether for personal gain or the enrichment of others, accountable for their actions," said Timothy R. Slater, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Division of the FBI. "Her actions, depriving the rank and file UAW membership of training money, is intolerable and we remain committed to pursuing all those responsible."

“Protecting members against corruption perpetrated by their union leaders is critical to the mission of OLMS,” said Thomas Murray, acting District Director of the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) Detroit-Milwaukee District Office. “We will continue to work cooperatively with our law enforcement partners to ensure that anyone who abuses their union position for personal financial gain will be brought to justice.”

U.S. Attorney Schneider commended the outstanding work of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in conducting a comprehensive criminal investigation into labor corruption activities involving a vital sector of the local and national economy.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David A. Gardey, Erin Shaw, Charles J. Kalil II, and Adriana Dydell.

Rick

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Corrupt Fiat Chrysler exec gets 5.5 years in prison

Corrupt Fiat Chrysler exec gets 5.5 years in prison

Aug. 27, 2018

Detroit — Alphons Iacobelli, the former Fiat Chrysler vice president for employee relations who bought a Ferrari, bejeweled pens and a backyard pool with money siphoned during a conspiracy involving the automaker and the United Auto Workers, was sentenced to 5 ½ years in federal prison Monday.

It is the stiffest sentence issued by U.S. District Judge Paul Borman during a case that has led to seven convictions, reshaped the top ranks of the auto industry as FBI agents investigate all three Detroit automakers and raised troubling questions about the conduct of the late Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-09-2018, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Fiat Chrysler-UAW bribery scandal expected to widen

Fiat Chrysler-UAW bribery scandal expected to widen

Nov 7, 2018

Former Fiat Chrysler Financial Analyst Jerome Durden was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Wednesday for conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Durden is accused of creating false tax returns for the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center, and a fake charity, the Leave the Light On Foundation, to conceal bribes from Fiat Chrysler executives to UAW executives.

The bribes were intended to result in more favorable union contracts for the automaker in 2011 and 2015.

Also sentenced Wednesday, UAW administrator Keith Mickens, for transfering more than $700,000 in bribes to UAW Vice President General Holiefield and his wife, Monica Morgan. Holiefield died in 2015 before he could be indicted. Mickens received a sentence of 12 months in prison.

Former Fiat Chrysler Director for Employee Relations Michael Brown also received a 12-month prison sentence, for attempting to conceal the conspiracy from federal investigators.

Earlier this year, former Chrysler Vice President Alphons Iacobelli was sentenced to 66 months in prison for his role in the payoffs and for submitting false tax returns. Monica Morgan was sentenced to 18 months in prison for tax fraud related to the conspiracy.

More indictments are expected in the widening scandal.

The United Auto Workers says top leaders were unaware of the bribes, and the union also maintains the bribes did not actually influence the 2011 and 2015 contracts.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Ex-union official sentenced

Ex-union official sentenced in federal corruption probe
12/18/18 2:57 PM


DETROIT — A former United Auto Workers official convicted of accepting bribes from Fiat Chrysler executives has been sentenced to a year in prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says a federal judge in Detroit also ordered Nancy Johnson on Tuesday to pay a $10,000 fine. Johnson pleaded guilty in July to violating the Labor Management Relations Act.


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She and others were charged in a scheme to strip millions from a Detroit worker training center financed by Fiat Chrysler. The leader, former auto executive Al Iacobelli, was sentenced in August to 5 ½ years in federal prison.

The government says Johnson spent $1,100 on a pair of shoes and $1,200 for spa services. She served on a 2015 UAW negotiating committee.

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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Former United Auto Workers VP charged

Former United Auto Workers VP charged in corruption probe

March 18,2019

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DETROIT — A former vice president at the United Auto Workers has been charged with conspiracy in a scheme with Fiat Chrysler to buy meals, golf and other perks with money from the automaker.

It’s the latest development in the government’s investigation of how officials at Fiat Chrysler and the UAW enriched themselves by using money set aside for a job-training center. At least seven people have pleaded guilty.

The conspiracy charge against Norwood Jewell was filed Monday as a criminal information, which means a guilty plea is likely. Defense attorney Michael Manley tells The Detroit News that Jewell and prosecutors are working toward a “fair and just resolution.”

Jewell was the highest-ranking UAW official dealing with Fiat Chrysler, from 2014 through 2016. Former Fiat Chrysler executive Al Iacobelli is serving a 5 ½-year prison sentence.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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Former UAW official pleads guilty

Former UAW official pleads guilty in U.S. corruption case

04/03/2019

A former top United Auto Workers official in charge of the union’s relations with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) pleaded guilty on Tuesday in a U.S. federal court in Detroit to misusing the automaker’s funds for lavish spending on UAW officials.

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As part of a plea agreement, Norwood Jewell, who headed the UAW’s FCA department from 2014 until his retirement in January 2018, pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiring to violate the Labor Relations Management Act, which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.

Jewell is the highest-ranking former UAW official charged so far in a wide-ranging investigation into illegal payoffs to UAW officials by FCA. To date, seven people linked to the union and the automaker have been sentenced in the government’s corruption investigation.

Jewell’s court appearance comes at a sensitive time for the UAW, which faces contract talks later this year with FCA, General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co.

Prosecutors say FCA officials conspired to divert to UAW officials more than $4.5 million in training center funds intended to pay for training for union members.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Former United Auto Workers official gets 15 months

Former United Auto Workers official gets 15 months in labor corruption case

August 05, 2019

A federal judge in Detroit on Monday sentenced the former United Auto Workers union vice president in charge of relations with Fiat Chrysler to 15 months in federal prison for misusing funds intended for worker training to pay for luxury travel, golf, liquor and parties for himself and other union officials.

Norwood Jewell, 61, who led the UAW's national contract negotiations with Fiat Chrysler in 2015, is the highest ranking UAW official to be sentenced in connection with a wide-ranging federal investigation of corruption within the union that represents U.S. factory workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV , General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co .


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Jewell pleaded guilty in April to a single charge of violating the Labor Relations Management Act. At the time, prosecutors proposed a prison sentence of 12 to 18 months. U.S. District Judge Paul Borman rejected Jewell's request to avoid prison and serve his sentence under house arrest.

"He betrayed his position," Borman said from the bench.

Jewell is the eighth former UAW or Fiat Chrysler official sentenced as part of the federal criminal investigation of UAW finances. Federal prosecutors are continuing to investigate the misuse of company and union funds at the Detroit automakers.

Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Mike Manley, during a meeting with reporters last week, declined to discuss whether the company is in talks with federal authorities or whether he has been interviewed by investigators.

Federal prosecutors have said Fiat Chrysler officials conspired in the misuse of $4.5 million in training center funds.

Fiat Chrysler's former vice president of labor relations, Alphons Iacobelli, pleaded guilty in January 2018 to charges of violating the Labor Management Relations Act and filing false tax returns. Prosecutors charged Iacobelli with making hundreds of thousands of dollars in improper payments to charities controlled by UAW officials, and agreeing to pay off the mortgage of a now-deceased UAW vice president, General Holiefield.

Prosecutors said Jewell accepted over $90,000 in illegal payments from Fiat Chrysler for his own benefit and to pay for travel, golf outings, parties and other entertainment for senior UAW leaders. "The parties included thousands of dollars in Fiat Chrysler money spent on 20 boxes of cigars, ultra-premium liquor, personalized bottles of wine, and women paid to light the cigars of senior UAW leaders," federal prosecutors said in a statement on Monday.

Jewell, in a statement to the court, portrayed himself as a leader betrayed by his staff, and expressed regret for being sloppy in accounting for expenses.

However, prosecutor David Gardey said Jewell and other senior UAW officials enjoyed a "high-flying lifestyle" of "premium liquor and fine steaks" on company and union money. Fiat Chrysler, Gardey told the court, wanted UAW officials to be "fat, dumb and happy."

Mike Booth, president of UAW local 961, which represents a Fiat Chrysler axle plant in Marysville, Michigan, told Borman that Jewell and other UAW leaders who accepted company favors betrayed union members.

"This is not a victimless crime," Booth said.

The UAW, in a statement issued on Monday after the sentencing, said the union's new leadership "is determined to earn back our members’ trust" and "will draw the line on more concessions to an auto industry flush in profits.”

Local 961 has gone to court to block the transfer of the axle plant to a Fiat Chrysler supplier and has accused UAW officials of corruptly acquiescing to the sale.

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