DETROIT (WXYZ) — Former UAW President Gary Jones has been charged for allegedly embezzling more than a million dollars from the union with several other officials who have already been charged.
Jones, who resigned as president in November 2019, was the director of the UAW Region 5 from Oct. 2012 through June 2018. He is the highest-ranking UAW official to face charges in the ongoing corruption investigation.
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According to the federal filing, Jones, Vance Pearson who also led Region 5 after Jones, Nick Robinson and other unnamed UAW officials "fraudulently obtaining hundreds of thousand of dollars of the UAW funds from the UAW headquarters, the UAW Southwest CAP and the UAW Midwest CAP."
The feds allege that the master account had arrangements with hotels throughout the country for union conferences and meetings relation to region 5, but they were used to "divert hundreds of thousands of dollars of UAW funds for the personal benefit of select senior UAW officials," including Jones, Pearson and Robinson.
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The funds were used, the feds allege, for personal expenses including cigars, private villas, high-end liquor and meal expenses, golfing apparel, golf clubs and green fees.
Other alleged incidents in the filing include:
- Gary Jones ordering $13,046.91 in cigars
- $10,087.92 spent on golf clothing, pants, shoes, hats and others
- $5,670 in green fees and $375 in tips for caddies
They also allegedly facilitated the transfer of more than $500,000 in 2017 to several resorts. That includes $200,000 to the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, $161,941 to the Lodge of Four Seasons, $107,447 to the Loews Coronado Bay Resort and $70,220 the Thousand Hills Golf Resort.
Last month, Pearson pleaded guilty to conspiring to embezzle UAW dues money and conspiring to use a facility of interstate commerce to aid racketeering.
During the plea hearing, Pearson admitted that he conspired with at least six other UAW officials in a multi-year conspiracy to embezzle money from the union.
Robinson was also charged last October with conspiracy to embezzle union funds and conspiracy to defraud the United States. He was the president of the UAW Midwest Community Action Program (CAP) which are funded through "per-capita" tax payments from member dues, according to federal prosecutors.
The criminal information filing which came out charging Jones indicates that he is expected to plead guilty.
In August 2019, the FBI and IRS raided Jones' home in Canton and was among several raids which also happened at the Black Lake Retreat in Cheboygan and at the Corona, California home that is believed to belong to former UAW President Dennis Williams.