DETROIT— Timothy Edmunds, the former financial secretary-treasurer of United Auto Workers Local 412, was sentenced today to 57 months in prison based on his convictions for embezzling $2.1 million from union funds and for money laundering, announced the American lawyer Dawn N. Ison.
Joining the announcement were Irene Lindow, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit, Michigan Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sarah Kull , Special Agent Agent in Charge of the Detroit, Michigan Office of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, and Thomas Murray, District Director, US Department of Labor – Office of Labor-Management Standards.
Timothy Edmunds, 54, of South Lyon, Michigan, had been sentenced after pleading guilty in March 2022 to embezzlement of union funds and money laundering, before U.S. District Judge Sean Cox. In addition to imposing a 57-month prison sentence, Judge Cox also ordered Edmunds to pay $1,963,740.29 in restitution to UAW Local 412 and a $1 million fine.
Between 2011 and 2021, Edmunds served as Financial Secretary-Treasurer of Local 412 of the United Auto, Aerospace and Agricultural Workers of America (“UAW”). UAW Local 412 is headquartered in Warren, Michigan, and represents about 2,600 members employed by automaker FCA US LLC, which is owned by Stellantis NV. Local union members include many employees of the following Stellantis facilities located in the Detroit area. : Sterling Stamping Plant, Mack Engine Plant, Warren Truck Assembly Plant, Warren Stamping Plant and Jefferson Assembly Plant.
As an elected officer of UAW Local 412, Edmunds was responsible for holding its money and property solely for the benefit of the organization and its members and for managing, investing, and spending the funds in accordance with the UAW Constitution and Local 412 Bylaws. Instead, Edmunds systematically drained Local 412 accounts of $2.1 million by (1) using local debit cards Local 412 for more than $142,000 in personal purchases, (2) cashing Local 412 checks for $170,000 from accounts he personally controlled, and (3) transferring 1.5 million bucks. from genuine Local 412 accounts to accounts that he personally controlled. To conceal his theft from other UAW agents and members of Local 412, Edmunds created fake bank statements and had fake labor management reports filed with the US DOL. Edmunds provided the fake bank statements to UAW international auditors in an effort to cover up his embezzlement.
Evidence indicates that Edmunds used some of the proceeds of his embezzlement to gamble heavily, to purchase firearms, various high-end vehicles, and to buy cocaine. For example, between 2018 and 2020, Edmunds used the UAW Local 412 debit card to make over $30,000 in unauthorized withdrawals at Greektown Casino.
“Mr. Edmunds betrayed his union brothers and sisters by stealing their dues money to satisfy his own greed,” said U.S. Attorney Dawn N. Ison. “Today’s sentencing demonstrates our continued commitment to eliminate corruption within the UAW.”
“Former UAW 412 Financial Secretary-Treasurer Timothy Edmunds embezzled approximately $2 million from the dues-paying members he was duty-bound to serve. We will continue to work with our enforcement partners law and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Management Standards to protect the integrity of labor organizations,” said Irene Lindow, Chicago Area Special Agent, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General.
“The role of the IRS criminal investigation becomes even more important in cases of embezzlement and fraud due to the complex financial transactions that can take time to unfold,” said Special Agent in Charge Sarah Kull, Detroit field office. “We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to hold all corrupt UAW officials accountable for their actions.”
“While the vast majority of union officials do their jobs diligently and without incident, unfortunately criminal offenses do occur. When they do, the union and its members are the victims. Timothy Edmunds embezzled more than $2 million from UAW Local 412 that should have been used to benefit its members. Not only did his theft take hard-earned money from the workers who earned it and who gave it to their union to help improve their working conditions, but his criminal conduct unfairly undermined the confidence of union members and the public in this union and the important work it and other unions do,” said Thomas Murray, District Director, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards . “OLMS will continue to work with its law enforcement partners to hold accountable anyone who illegally exploits their position for profit at the expense of unionized workers.”
Edmunds is the seventeenth defendant convicted in the ongoing criminal investigation into UAW corruption or illegal payments to UAW officials by FCA leaders. The following others have already pleaded guilty to their involvement in the scheme and have been sentenced: former UAW President Gary Jones (28 months in prison); former FCA Vice President for Employee Relations Alphons Iacobelli (66 months in prison), former FCA Financial Analyst Jerome Durden (15 months in prison), former Director of FCA Employee Relations Department Michael Brown (12 months in jail), former top UAW officials Virdell King (60 days in jail), Keith Mickens (12 months in jail), Nancy A. Johnson (12 months in jail), Monica Morgan, the widow of UAW Vice President General Holiefield (18 months in prison), former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell (15 months in prison), former senior UAW official Michael Grimes (28 months), former UAW Midwest President CAP Edward “Nick” Robinson (12 months in prison), former UAW Vice President Joseph Ashton (30 months), former UAW President Dennis Williams (21 months) and former member of the UAW Region 5 UAW Board of Directors, Vance Pearson (12 months in prison). The company, FCA US LLC, now known as Stellantis, pleaded guilty in January 2021 to conspiracy to violate the Taft-Hartley Act, and was ordered to pay a $30 million fine and be subject to to an external auditor for three years. Former top UAW official Jeffrey Pietrzyk died before being sentenced.
In December 2020, the United States filed a civil suit against the UAW International under the Anti-Fraud Injunction Act based on the criminal investigation of the UAW, FCA US LLC and executives from FCA. Subsequently, the United States and UAW International entered into a consent decree to settle the lawsuit which was approved by the U.S. District Court. The court appointed attorney Neil Barofsky to serve as the UAW’s independent monitor for six years. The Comptroller is responsible for providing federal oversight of the UAW regarding fraud, corruption, and misconduct within the UAW.
U.S. Attorney Ison praised the remarkable work of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in conducting an investigation in-depth criminal investigation of corrupt labor activities. involving a vital sector of the local and national economy.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Gardey.