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Gary Jones Uaw Getty

Former UAW president Jones pleads guilty to embezzling charges

June 4, 2020
Jones was accused in March of stealing more than $1 million in UAW assets to purchase pleasantries such as vacation rentals, golf outings, clothing, liquor, expensive meals in addition to $60,000 on cigars and other smoking materials.

In March, former UAW president Gary Jones was charged with embezzling funds as part of a wide-ranging investigation into illegal activity at the highest levels of the labor union. On June 3, Jones pleaded guilty to those charges.

Jones, who stepped down as president in November, conspired with fellow union leaders to steal more than $1 million in UAW assets over a nine-year period that began in 2010. According to The New York Times, the officials used the funds for their own personal benefit to purchase vacation rentals, golf outings, clothing, liquor and expensive meals with the prosecutors detailing that Jones spent some $60,000 just on cigars and smoking paraphernalia.

Rory Gamble, UAW’s current president apologized in a statement for its failings and has pledged to reform it.

As previously reported by Bloomberg, the union announced a seven-point plan of ethics reforms after Jones stepped down, then said it would eliminate the regional office Jones headed before becoming president and is alleged by prosecutors to have been the site of schemes involving bribery, misuse of funds and kickbacks.

The UAW remains one of the largest labor groups in the country and is a key player in the U.S. auto industry, representing about 400,000 workers and is the biggest union at G.M., Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler.

“Former president Gary Jones and others abused their high-ranking positions and violated the trust of our members,” Gamble said in a statement to The New York Times. “Their actions were selfish, immoral, and against everything we stand for as a union.”

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