A former senior United Auto Workers official has been charged with wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering, marking an expansion of a federal corruption investigation that has spread beyond Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.
Michael Grimes — who until last year served as administrative assistant to UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada — received $1.99 million in kickbacks from union vendors, according to the government.
He and other unnamed union officials assigned to General Motors Co. were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks from vendors who received contracts to produce promotional merchandise for the UAW, according to a criminal case unsealed Wednesday.
The criminal charges, which could send Grimes to federal prison for up to 20 years, help federal investigators pierce the inner circle of Estrada, a sitting UAW vice president and head of the union’s FCA department who has been under scrutiny for almost two years. The case also expands the scope of a criminal investigation that, until now, focused on Fiat Chrysler executives trying to influence contract negotiations by giving UAW officials money, lavish trips and more.
Read the original article here: detroitnews.com
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