(WXYZ) — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, now Stellantis, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Labor Management Relations Act in the UAW corruption investigation.
The company admitted in a hearing on Monday that it conspired with other entities to violate the Taft-Hartley Act by making more than $3.5 million in illegal payments to UAW officials from 2009-2016, including Alphons Iacobelli, Jerome Durden and more.
Those payments came in various forms, including meals, rounds of golf, parties, clothing and much more. FCA executives also paid off the $262,000 home mortgage of former UAW Vice President General Holiefield, and gave hundreds of thousands of dollars through his charitable organizations. Those illegal payments were passed through the UAW-Chrysler Skill Development and Training Program.
“Through its participation in this conspiracy, FCA violated federal labor law and undermined the collective bargaining process and the faith of the UAW’s membership in their leaders. By seeking a $30 million fine and three years of oversight by a court-appointed monitor, we are holding FCA accountable and sending a message to other companies that these types of crimes will not be tolerated," Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Saima Mohsin said in a release.
“FCA US LLC conspired to make improper labor payments to high-ranking UAW officials, which were used for personal mortgage expenses, lavish parties, and entertainment expenses. Instead of negotiating in good faith, FCA corrupted the collective bargaining process and the UAW members’ rights to fair representation. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to root out systemic corruption and fraud involving unions," stated Irene Lindow, Special Agent-in-Charge, Chicago Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.
“Fiat Chrysler Automobiles used a program intended for the betterment of its employees to instead benefit itself. By providing money and valuables to UAW officials, FCA corrupted the labor-management relationship and broke the law,” said Timothy Waters, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “This case sends a clear message that the FBI and its partners will hold both union leadership and corporations accountable when they violate federal statutes.”
The investigation has led to the conviction of 15 people, including three former FCA executives.