Back in July, the FBI broke cover on a scandal that rocked the foundation of America’s auto industry. Collusion between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles(FCA) and the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) may have lined the pockets of auto and union executives. Now, just a few months later, further revelations could tie other automakers to the money laundering scheme. But could workers have been caught up in this massive corporate shell game?
How Where Millions Stolen from Auto Industry Workers?
The FBI has filed charges against former FCA Vice President Iacobelli and Monica Morgan-Holiefield for siphoning millions from a United Auto Workers training center. Investigators believe that Iacobelli steered around $1.2 million to the late General Holiefield, his wife Monica Morgan-Holiefield, and several other individuals by using a sham charity. Iacobelli was in also accused of pocket $1 million himself to by a Ferrari, pay off his credit cards, and buy two Mont Blanc pens worth over $35,000 apiece.
The funds were taken from a training fund meant to run centers that would train blue-collar workers in the skills they needed for their jobs. To hide the money being misappropriated, the funds would be donated to charitable organizations, which would then distribute the funds to auto executives and well as high ranking officials at the union.
Could Other Companies Be Involved?
FCA would go on to say that they had no idea that such criminal activity was happening at their company. The further claimed that ties were cut to any of the parties that played a hand in this grift. Now the FBI believes that some at Ford and GM may have been participating in similar laundering transactions. At least one GM executive is under scrutiny as records are checked at both companies. Ford claims to be fully cooperating with the FBI.
Where Auto Workers Cheated by this Crime?
So far, FCA and the UAW claim that no labor contracts were influenced by the alleged laundering. However, the FBI is combing through records to make sure this claim is true. Considering the General Holiefield and Iacobelli were influential in creating union contracts, only a full investigation could reveal if Iacobelli’s payments could have influence terms of the labor contracts. If that is the case, then union workers may have received poor or unfair compensation as set out by their union contracts.
Do you think the FBI will find that Iacobelli and Holiefield influenced labor contracts? What reparations could be in store for workers? You can bet the employment lawyers at the Gates Law Group will continue to keep a close eye on this situation as it unfolds.