DETROIT (WXYZ) — Former UAW President Dennis Williams pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring with other UAW officials to embezzle UAW funds, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider announced.
Williams was scheduled to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Detroit on Sept. 30, in the union corruption case.
The 67-year-old, from Corona, California, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Paul Borman to charges of conspiring with former UAW President Gary Jones and other senior UAW officials to embezzle UAW dues money between 2010 and September 2019.
During the guilty plea hearing today, Williams admitted that he had conspired with at least six other senior UAW officials in a multi-year conspiracy to embezzle money from the UAW for the personal benefit of himself and other senior UAW officials.
UAW officials concealed hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenditures in the cost of UAW conferences held in Palm Springs, California, Coronado, California, and Missouri.
Between 2010 and 2018, former UAW President and co-defendant Gary Jones and other UAW officials submitted fraudulent expense forms seeking reimbursement from the UAW’s Detroit headquarters for expenditures supposedly incurred in connection with UAW leadership and training conferences. In truth, however, Williams and his co-conspirators used the conferences to conceal the hundreds of thousands of dollars in UAW funds spent on lavish entertainment and personal spending for the conspirators, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
As part of his guilty plea, Williams admitted the he and other senior UAW officials used UAW money to pay for personal expenses, including multi-month long stays at private villas in Palm Springs, cigars, golfing apparel, green fees at golf courses, and high-end liquor and meals. During the course of the conspiracy, while Williams was UAW President, co-conspirators Gary Jones, Vance Pearson, and others provided themselves and Williams with thousands of dollars in such personal items.
Based on the charge of conspiring to embezzle union funds, Williams faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.