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Charges were recently filed against Gary Jones, former President of the International United Auto Workers union, for allegedly conspiring to embezzle over $1 million of union dues to finance a racketeering scheme and to avoid paying taxes.
Jones, 62, of Canton, is accused of plotting to use a facility of interstate commerce to aid racketeering crimes between 2010 and September 2019. He is also charged with conspiring to defraud the United States by evading the payment of taxes on embezzled funds and causing the UAW to file false tax returns during the same period of time.
“The charges demonstrate our continuing progress towards restoring honest leadership for the over 400,000 men and women of the UAW,” said United States Attorney Matthew Schneider said. “The union’s leaders must be dedicated to serving their members and not serving themselves.”
Between June 2018 and November 2019, Jones served as the President of the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Workers of America (“UAW”). The UAW represents over 400,000 active members and over 580,000 retired members in more than 600 local unions across the United States. Prior to serving as UAW President, Jones was the Director of UAW Region 5 and a member of the UAW’s International Executive Board from October 2012 through June 2018. The UAW’s Region 5 is headquartered in Hazelwood, Missouri, and covers the tens of thousands of UAW members in Missouri and the sixteen states to the southwest, including California and Texas.
“(The) information alleges an outrageous abuse of power and misuse of former President Gary Jones’ position of trust to enrich himself and other officers within the UAW at the expense of the UAW’s hardworking members,” Thomas Murray, District Director, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards, said. “This information leaves no question as to the agency’s commitment to seek justice when anyone puts personal financial gain ahead of the best interests of union members.”
The Criminal Information charges that Jones conspired with at least six other senior UAW officials in a multiyear conspiracy to embezzle money from the UAW for the personal benefit of Jones and other senior UAW officials. Jones and other UAW officials concealed personal expenditures in the cost of UAW Region 5 conferences held in Palm Springs, California, Coronado, California, and Missouri. Between 2010 and 2018, Jones and other UAW officials submitted fraudulent expense forms seeking reimbursement from the UAW’s Detroit headquarters for expenditures supposedly incurred in connection with Region 5 leadership and training conferences. In truth, however, Jones and his co-conspirators used the conferences to conceal the hundreds of thousands of dollars in UAW funds spent on lavish entertainment and personal spending for the conspirators.
The Information charges that Jones and other senior UAW officials used UAW money to pay for personal expenses, including golf clubs, private villas, cigars, golfing apparel, green fees at golf courses, and high-end liquor and meals costing over $750,000 in UAW funds. For example, in just one of the years of the conspiracy, Jones is charged with ordering over $13,000 in cigars for the use of high-level UAW officials.
"While union corruption is not new, each instance slowly undermines the trust members have in their organization. In order for unions to be effective, their members must trust their leadership to do what is best for the entire union and not just for themselves. In this case, that trust has been broken over and over again," Steven M. D’Antuono, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit, Michigan office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said. "While today represents a significant development in this investigation, it does not represent its end. Our work on this case will continue until we are satisfied that everyone who should answer for these crimes is brought to justice."
Based on each of the two counts of conspiracy, Jones faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Jones is the fourteenth defendant to be charged in connection with the ongoing criminal investigation into corruption within the UAW or relating to illegal payoffs to UAW officials by FCA executives. The following individuals have already pleaded guilty to their participation in the scheme and have been sentenced: former FCA Vice President for Employee Relations Alphons Iacobelli (66 months in prison), former FCA Financial Analyst Jerome Durden (15 months in prison), former Director of FCA’s Employee Relations Department Michael Brown (12 months in prison), former senior UAW officials Virdell King (60 days in prison), Keith Mickens (12 months in prison), Nancy A. Johnson (12 months in prison), Monica Morgan, the widow of UAW Vice President General Holiefield (18 months in prison), former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell (15 months in prison), and former senior UAW official Michael Grimes (28 moths). In addition, the following UAW officials have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing: former UAW Vice President Joseph Ashton, former senior UAW official Jeffrey “Paycheck” Pietrzyk, former UAW Region 5 Director UAW Board member Vance Pearson, and former UAW Midwest CAP President Edward “Nick” Robinson.
“Honest and hardworking UAW members are fed up with the likes of those who use deceit and fraud to line their pockets with other people’s money," Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Sarah Kull said. "IRS-CI enforces the nation's tax laws, but also takes particular interest in cases where someone, for their own personal benefit, has taken what belonged to others”.
Former UAW president charged with embezzlement,
racketeering and tax evasion
Nessel responds to call for investigation into
sexual abuse allegations against U-M doctor
LANSING – In response to a call for her to take action, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said today that any investigation into the alleged sexual assaults committed by the late Dr. Robert Anderson would require full cooperation by the accused’s former employer, the University of Michigan, and an appropriation by the Michigan Legislature to cover costs of the investigation.
Nessel hosted a roundtable with media this afternoon at her office in Lansing after a news conference was held earlier today in Ann Arbor by attorneys, victims’ advocates and survivors of reported sexual assault by Anderson, a former U of M doctor, as well as Larry Nassar, a former doctor at Michigan State University.
“I commend those who have come forward to speak out about Dr. Anderson’s abuses,” Nessel said at the roundtable. “Your courage inspires us all and shines a spotlight on the work we have left to do to ensure that sexual assault and abuse is taken as seriously in the halls of academia as it is in the halls of justice.”
Anderson passed away in 2008 and statute of limitations on his crimes have all likely run out.
Nessel said there cannot be a complete and thorough investigation unless and until the University of Michigan commits to complete transparency and full cooperation. For that to happen, the university would need to make a binding commitment to waive all privileges, including the attorney-client privilege, and fully cooperate in whatever law enforcement efforts there may be.
If the university were to waive privilege and fully cooperate, Nessel said the Attorney General’s office would still need an appropriation from the Legislature to fund investigatory efforts.
“When MSU called on this office to investigate the Nassar scandal, the Legislature responded by appropriating $1 million to fund our Department's investigatory efforts,” Nessel said. “In just over a year, our Department – in partnership with the Michigan State Police – interviewed nearly 400 witnesses and filed charges against three MSU officials – all while coming-in under budget.”
However, Nessel said MSU’s failure to waive the attorney-client privilege prevented her office from completing its investigation and has denied the survivors any sense of closure, while also wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. Those actions cannot be repeated.
“The young men and women at our colleges and universities are entitled to a safe learning environment,” Nessel said. “We achieve that when we start holding those in charge of their safety accountable. Like MSU, history will judge U of M by its actions in the wake of this scandal. I hope it makes different – and better – choices.”
Tips to protect against the coronavirus
By Dr. James Robb, MD FCAP
SPECIAL TO THE SUN
I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources.
The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April.
Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves.
1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.
2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.
3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip - do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.
4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.
5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.
6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home's entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can't immediately wash your hands.
7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!
What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:
1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.
Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average - everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon.
This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.
2) Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you - it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth - it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.
3) Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.
4) Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY "cold-like" symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.
I, as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be. Humans have never seen this (edited: animal)-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it.
Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available.