The United Auto Workers (UAW) have been a staple in the American car industry, serving as a labor union to auto workers in the USA and Canada since 1935. The UAW is headquartered in Detroit, MI and has almost 400,000 active members. It is estimated that there are over 600,000 retired members of the UAW. The influence and power of the UAW is vast, and so are the perks for its leaders. It looks as if its main leader took it excessively too far. Former UAW president Gary Jones has been indicted on charges ranging from conspiracy to embezzle union funds to aiding racketeering as well as tax evasion. Jones became the 14th individual charged in this investigation and its highest ranking accused of wrongdoing. This is uncharted territory for the UAW as an organization as they have maintained a clean image since their beginnings.
Original Case Details
It is alleged that Gary Jones, along with other upper tier union leaders used union money to pay for luxury travel, high-end cigars and spa treatments. He is said to be responsible for over $1 million of embezzlement from the UAW. Jones and others are said to have covered their tracks by submitting fake vouchers and false receipts to receive payments. This scandal first broke in 2017 when former lead labor negotiator for Fiat Chrysler Alphons Iacobelli was indicted breaking the clean image that the UAW had once been known for. The UAW released a statement: “All UAW members including the UAW leadership are and should be angry about the charges of former UAW member Gary Jones and his alleged actions. This is a violation of trust, a violation of the sacred management of union dues, and goes against everything we believe in as a union. Jones and all who betrayed the trust of our union should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law with no exceptions.”
Federal Vs State Charges
Jones and others that have been indicted so far have been indicted on federal charges as opposed to state charges. Federal cases are typically investigated by a federal agency such as the FBI. They usually involve things like public corruption like this or can be as wide ranging as drug trafficking or possession of child pornography. There are many state charges that overlap in some way with federal charges. Any criminal act that crosses state lines or uses a telephone or the U.S. Mail to commit the crime can be charged as a federal offense.
What Happens Now?
Jones and others will have the ability to take their case to trial if they don’t reach a satisfactory plea deal. Many of the co-defendants in this case have taken deals already and have agreed to cooperate. In this crossfire can land criminal charges against someone who may not actually be involved in any wrongdoing. Many times, this happens when prosecutors are pushing their limits on how much evidence they really have in any specific case. It remains to be seen if that will occur as this case continues to unfold. There are already 14 defendants in this case and that number is only expected to rise. It appears as if Jones will soon be making a deal, which will potentially open the door for additional indictments depending on what Jones tells investigators.
Any Further Questions?
If you or a loved one has been charged with a federal crime or being investigated for one, then it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Grabel & Associates, our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience in successfully defending criminal cases all over the state of Michigan. This experience extends not only to adult cases, but also to juvenile charges. We are not a general practice firm. We are a team of criminal defense attorneys; it’s all we do. We offer a FREE consultation to anyone with questions relating to a possible or existing criminal charge against them or a loved one. Feel free to contact us on our 24/7 defense line at 1-800-342-7896. You can also contact us online or come visit us at one of our three statewide locations. We can also come to you.