Lifelong UAW member sentenced in corruption case, members follow him to court

Posted at 5:56 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 17:56:56-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Mike Grimes is a third-generation member of the United Autoworkers Union. He rose up through the ranks from Flint where the UAW was born.

Today he apologized and took full responsibility in his case, charged with fraud and money laundering.

Federal Judge Bernard Friedman sentenced him to 28 months, more than the 24 months federal prosecutors recommended.

The judge said he was sending a message to UAW members to restore their respect, pride, loyalty and trust.

But three union members from Flint came to court in downtown Detroit, saying outside after the sentencing that the feds need to take over the union.

A federal racketeering civil action or consent agreement is an option on the table according to the U. S. Attorney in Detroit.

Two immediate past UAW Presidents have been raided and implicated, but not charged.

Grimes is the defendent in one of the largest corruption cases so far. He pocketed some $2 million in kickbacks from vendors who were hired to make coats and backpacks for union members.

He bought a house in Florida, boats, a car, jewelry.

Grimes is cooperating with the ongoing investigation. He has to pay $1.5 million in forfeiture to the government.