DETROIT (AP) – A senior United Auto Workers official is facing felony charges of fraud and fraud, and prosecutors say several top conspiracy officials conspired to steal more than 1, $ 5 million from the federation.
The prosecutors described the charges against Edward N. Robinson in a filing Thursday in the federal district court in Detroit. Robinson is president of a Missouri UAW council.
According to the filing, Robinson and six other top UAW officials have been conspiring since 2010 to undermine funds through schemes such as submitting fake vouchers for conference costs.
Detroit News, citing sources familiar with the investigation, said one of the unnamed union leaders, "UAW Official A," is union president Gary Jones.
A UAW spokesman said the union takes all allegations of misuse of union funds very seriously. He did not address the prosecution's claims and did not mention Jones in the statement. Jones is not charged with wrongdoing.
The prosecutors said that official A ordered Robinson to divert more than $ 850,000 from a union and to cover up the theft by submitting false expenses or receipts for expenses already paid. They said Robinson managed to get $ 500,000 to $ 700,000 in fraudulent or unauthorized checks, redeemed them and shared the money with Official A.
Another part of the alleged scheme involved using union funds to create luxury hotel and golf hotel accounts in places like Palm Springs, California. Trade union officials then apparently used money for hotel rooms at union conferences to pay for private villas, golf clubs and excursions, high-end liquors and cigars, according to the filing.
Prosecutors said the union officials began to fear that investigators were on track, and they gave Robinson a burner phone to avoid wiretaps. They claim that official A promised to give a scam to a relative of Robinson if he took responsibility for the misconduct.
The case was outlined in a filing called a criminal information, which often goes before a guilty plea.