A 12th United Auto Workers official charged with ongoing probe corruption

FBI agents who entered the home of United Auto Workers President Gary Jones after removing material from the site on Wednesday, August 28, 2019.

Michael Wayland / CNBC

DETROIT – Scope of ongoing federal corruption United Auto Workers' zone continues to expand as the union tries to harden new employment contracts with Detroit automakers.

Federal attorneys on Thursday charged Edward Robinson, a union service affiliated with UAW President Gary Jones, for conspiracy to investigate union funds and conspiracy to scam the United States. Both are crimes that can be punishable by up to five years in prison.

Robinson, who chaired a regional action program council for the UAW community where Jones served as director, is accused of conspiring with union leaders to "steal, steal and illegally and intentionally abstract" More than $ 1[ads1].5 million in cash and personal gain assets for giving fuel "lavish lifestyles," according to a new criminal filing.

Jones and his predecessor, UAW President Dennis Williams, have been targeted by federal officials as part of the investigation, including attacks on their homes in August, but have not been charged with any crimes. Detroit News on Thursday, citing unnamed sources, identified both men as unnamed conspirators in the filing describing the charges against Robinson.

The UAW made the following statement in response to the federal probe of corruption:

"We take allegations or allegations of abuse of union resources very seriously. UAW is grounded in the principle of putting our members first, and that belief has never faltered. UAW is still focused on negotiating and concluding strong contracts for our members – especially during this round of auto negotiation. "

According to the filing, the alleged illegal activity occurred from about 2010 to September. The timeframe signals that federal prosecutors continue to focus on retired and current UAW officials.

Senior union officials involved in the scheme allegedly bought lavish dinners and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on hotels and private villas and tens of thousands of dollars on cigars, as well as golf green fees and merchandise, according to the filing.

The charges against Robinson – the 12th person charged as part of the probe – come a day after the UAW, including Jones, announced a new tentative deal with Ford Motor.

Ten people, including seven with the union, are sentenced to prison as part of the probe. UAW Region 5 Director Vance Pearson, who took leave from the union, is charged as part of the investigation but has not been convicted.

The investigation was expected to add to the already contentious contract negotiations between UAW and Detroit automakers.

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