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     Norwood Jewell, 61, of Swartz Creek, Michigan was sentenced this month to 15 months in prison based on his April 2019 conviction for conspiring with other UAW officials and FCA executives to take illegal payments from Fiat Chrysler. Between 2014 and 2016, Jewell was the highest UAW official responsible for administering and negotiating the collective bargaining agreements on behalf of tens of thousands of UAW members employed by FCA.  
     “Jewell’s actions as an elected UAW official who took tens of thousands of dollars in illegal payments from Fiat Chrysler amount to a betrayal of the UAW’s members and their families,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider. “Our office will continue to stand up for the men and women of the union by vigorously prosecuting UAW corruption.”
     During the course of the conspiracy, Jewell accepted over $90,000 in illegal payments from Fiat Chrysler for his own personal benefit, for the benefit of his friends, and for the lavish entertainment of the UAW’s senior leadership. Jewell spent tens of thousands of dollars in Fiat Chrysler money to pay for lavish meals, liquor, and cigars for the personal enjoyment of himself and other senior UAW officials. For example, Jewell caused to be spent $6,912.81 in Fiat Chrysler money for liquor and an extravagant meal at the London Chop House in Detroit in September 2015 for himself and other senior UAW officials, while Jewell and those same UAW officials were negotiating with Fiat Chrysler executives over a new collective bargaining agreement. Jewell also expended thousands of dollars in Fiat Chrysler money to pay for fancy meals, a three bedroom villa with a private pool and hot tub, and 29 rounds of golf for himself and other senior UAW officials in Palm Springs, California. Jewell used Fiat Chrysler money to acquire over $2,000 in tickets and passes at Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida for Jewell’s best friend. Finally, Jewell conducted two lavish parties, each costing over $25,000, at the joint UAW/FCA National Training Center for the members of the UAW’s International Executive Board.  
     “Norwood Jewell betrayed the trust of the union membership who rightfully expected him to protect and safeguard their union’s funds and assets. Instead, Jewell chose to use his elected union position to enrich himself, live a lavish lifestyle, and curry favor with the UAW’s leadership,” said Thomas Murray, District Director, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards. “Jewell’s conviction leaves no question as to the agency’s commitment to root out corruption within the labor community and seek justice when anyone uses their elected position to put their personal financial gain ahead of union members.”
     The Court’s sentencing of Jewell marks the eighth defendant to be sentenced in the ongoing criminal investigation into illegal payoffs to UAW officials.  
     “Mr. Jewell abused his fiduciary position as the former UAW Vice-President by conspiring to accept FCA funds at the expense of the hard working rank and file members of UAW. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect the integrity of labor unions and their benefit plans,” said Irene Lindow, Special Agent in Charge, Chicago Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.”

Former UAW Vice President sentenced to prison

CAIR condemns Trump's racist tweets, "Go back where you came from" targeting Congresswomen

PRNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned a series of racist tweets by President Trump targeting female congresswomen.
  Trump's tweets last month suggested the congresswomen "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. . .You can't leave fast enough."
     He did not name his intended targets, but he apparently meant Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York; Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts; Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan; and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
     Omar was born in Somalia, while Tlaib was born to Palestinian immigrants in Detroit. Pressley is African-American and was born in Cincinnati. Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York City to a family of Puerto Rican heritage.
    "Trump's latest racist tweets echo the bigoted shouts of 'go back where you came from' heard daily by American Muslim women and children, immigrants and members of other minority communities across our nation. It is sad to see the occupant of the Oval Office transition from empowering and encouraging racist taunts to actually using them himself," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "If Trump shouted the same thing at a Muslim woman wearing hijab in a Walmart, he might be arrested."
     The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.
• CAIR: Robinson Township Republican Committee chair resigns over Islamophobic Facebook posts
     CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

Michigan woman convicted of obstructing the IRS

     A federal jury in Flint, Michigan, convicted Gerri Avery this month of engaging in a corrupt endeavor to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
     According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Avery obstructed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in its attempts to collect payroll taxes due and owing for Integrated HCS Practice Management (Integrated), a Southfield, Michigan, company, by providing false and misleading information to the IRS Revenue Officer attempting to collect the taxes owed. Integrated, a management services business for healthcare providers, failed to pay payroll taxes due from its employees for the third quarter of 2013, the fourth quarter of 2013, and the first quarter of 2014. 
     Avery, whose duties at Integrated were central to the business’s operations, made statements to the IRS Revenue Officer that attempted to minimize her involvement in and knowledge of the business as well as the involvement of Joseph DeSanto, one of the owners of the business. Avery also told the IRS she did not know how to obtain bank statements and other documents related to the business, despite regularly accessing such records as part of her responsibilities for the company.
     In a related case, DeSanto himself has pleaded guilty to failing to collect, truthfully account for, and pay over payroll taxes relating to Integrated and to failure to file his personal tax return for 2013.
     United States District Judge Laurie J. Michelson scheduled sentencing for Dec. 4, 2019. Avery faces a maximum of three years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, in addition to a term of supervised release and restitution.
     Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg thanked special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI, who conducted the investigation, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Mark McDonald and William Guappone, who are prosecuting the case, and paralegal Eric Mahoney.  
  Additional information about the Tax Division’s enforcement efforts can be found on the Division’s website.