General Motors has filed a new lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Michigan state court accusing the automaker of bribery and conspiracy.
This new lawsuit comes on the back of the federal racketeering complaint GM filed against Fiat Chrysler Automotbiles in federal court last year, which was dismissed by a judge. GM is currently appealing the court’s decision in that case and filed this new, separate suit in state court.
In addition to suing Fiat Chrysler in state court, GM has also filed two separate state-level suits against former UAW officials Joe Ashton and Alphons Iacobelli. The automaker previously accused Ashton and Iacobelli of conducting corproate espionage on GM in exchange for payment from FCA. The automaker denies these accusations, likening GM’s case to a “third rate spy movie.” Both Ashton and Iacobelli were charged as part of the FBI’s corruption investigation into the UAW.
“General Motors is pursuing claims over which the federal District Courtfor the Eastern District of Michigan declined to exercise jurisdiction andrelated claims — mainly involving breaches of fiduciary duties that individuals owed to GM while they were employees or directors of the company,” GM said in a statement announcing the new lawsuits, as quoted by Automotive News. “The federal court made nodeterminations on the merits of these claims. We look forward to presenting these cases in court.”
GM’s statement also reiterated its stance that FCA “provided millions of dollars to co-conspirators via numerous undisclosed offshore bank accounts and utilized such accounts to purchase the support and silence of numerous high-level UAW officers and FCA executives.” Additionally, this latest suit also named the banks allegedly involved in the offshort payments. It accused Ashton of using Shinsei Bank in Japan and Cayman National Bank in the Cayman Islands to receive the spying bribe money, while Iacobelli controlled accounts at a Deutsche Bank in Italy, VP Bank Vaduz in Liechtenstein and a UBS in Switzerland.
The initial RICO suit GM filed against FCA alleged the automaker worked hand-in-hand with the UAW to weaken GM’s business and force it to enter a merger together. GM alleges FCA executives bribed top UAW officials to give it preferential treatment in previous contract discussions, thereby putting GM at a competitive disadvantage.
FCA has not issued a public statement on the new filing in state court, but the automaker has consistently denied GM’s accusations.