General Motors has accused former UAW vice president Joe Ashton of being a “paid mole” within its boardroom and secretly working for crosstown rival Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
The automaker made the salacious accusations in an amended complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit last week. The amended complaint was filed after GM’s previous racketeering case against its Italian-American rival was thrown out by Judge Paul Borman earlier this year.
GM says Ashton acted as a paid mole on its executive board, which he was appointed to in 2014. Ashton allegedly received payment from FCA through offshore accounts in exchange for various information and intel on the company. The former UAW VP pleaded guilty to charges related to fraud and money laundering conspiracies last December for demanding kickbacks from a wristwatch vendor that he gave a UAW contract to.
Additionally, the new amended complaint accuses former GM employee Alphons Iacobelli of funneling GM intel to FCA, his former employer, after the automaker hired him on as its executive director of labor relations in 2016. GM’s original complaint indicated Iacobelli was one of the key players in FCA’s alleged plot to weaken GM’s business and eventually force the company into a merger. Former UAW President Dennis Williams was also named in the amended complaint.
According to Automotive News, the amended complaint says FCA used a broad network of offshore accounts to pay off Ashton, Iacobelli and other UAW officials, which were located in Switzerland, Italy, Singapore, the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg, among other countries.
FCA has maintained its innocence in the face of GM’s various allegations against it and said the claims in the amended complaint were “meritless.” The UAW, for its part, indicated it had no immediate knowledge of the offshore accounts.
“If GM actually has substantive information supporting its allegations, we ask that they provide it to us so we can take all appropriate actions,” the union said.
GM has also accused retired UAW president Ron Gettelfinger of receiving payments through offshore accounts in exchange for providing FCA with sensitive inside information on GM – a claim he vehemently denied in a statement released last week.
“I want to be unequivocally clear: I have never had control over any financial account in any foreign country, nor has any member of my family,” Gettelfinger said. “Further, neither I nor any member of my family have ever received one cent from a foreign account like GM claimed. Never.”
The U.S. District Court in Detroit has yet to respond to GM’s amended complaint.