We’ve talked quite a bit about the federal investigation that has been going on into alleged corruption in the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. Not long ago the FBI raided the home of the UAW president searching for evidence in the years-long investigation that has so far resulted in eight convictions.
The latest turn of events sees a UAW official called Mike Grimes pleading guilty to financial crimes. Grimes is a former assistant to a union vice president and told a federal judge in court that he took kickbacks because he was having financial trouble. Grimes received $1.99 million in kickbacks from union vendors.
Grimes was facing tax issues in 2013, but reports indicate that he was receiving kickbacks for years before the tax problems emerged. He had also amassed a multi-million dollar real estate portfolio. Grimes was the administrative assistant to UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada when she headed the Union’s GM Department. The former UAW leader could face up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud and up to ten years in prison for money laundering.
The government is recommending that Grimes serve 46 to 57 months in prison. His sentencing is up to U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman and is set for January 14. He has agreed to forfeit all the property he received through wire fraud and money-laundering schemes. He will forfeit $1.5 million that he obtained as bribe payments from vendors.
The vendors who paid Grimes were awarded contracts from UAW-GM training center to produce UAW branded merchandise in exchange for kickbacks and bribes. During the time Grimes was taking bribes, he was paid $150,574 yearly. Starting in 2010 Grimes received almost $900,000 in kickbacks from a union vendor, in 2011 the same vendor gave him another $530,000. Smaller bribes continued to be received by Grimes in the following years.
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Source: The Detroit News
The UAW has to clean out all of its executives and start over. They cannot represent the honest auto workers when they are the leaders in cheating and stealing money from the Union itself and from the workers. If they don’t clean out their house, the auto companies can just continue to dismantle their power, cut jobs, and eliminate high salaries. The common auto customer will be the final winner.
I thought I was reading an article from the 1960’s. You wonder why many do not trust unions. They take your monthly dues, claim to get you great benefits, higher pay and save your job. Maybe this is half bad because union members retirement funds weren’t touch, at least what we read was kickbacks. As alway the one bad apple ruins the entire basket but greed takes you down, always. What my father taught his five kids, “don’t get greedy”.