This past July, a Grand Jury indicted Alphons Iacobelli, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles’ former lead labor executive for enriching himself and others with UAW funds. Now, the FBI expanded its probe into the UAW training center fraud and it’s now looking at former and current General Motors labor executives.
The FBI issued subpoenas to learn about UAW training centers financed by GM. Notably, investigators are interested in Joe Ashton, a retired UAW vice president appointed to GM’s board in 2014, and Cindy Estrada, his successor, according to The Detroit News. Both executives may have ties to illegal benefits to skew the UAW bargaining process. The investigation looks to uncover whether the executives used training funds inappropriately and if they received money from tax-exempt nonprofit organizations.
To be clear, the investigation does not focus on GM itself, but on the UAW training centers. Following Iacobelli’s indictment, investigators uncovered millions of dollars spent on luxury items such as a Ferrari 458, two $36,000 fountain pens and home improvement projects totaling over $1 million.