U.S. Charges Retired-UAW Official in Widening Corruption Probe

The U.S. has charged former United Auto Workers union official Virdell King with using a credit card from a UAW-Chrysler training center to buy more than $40,000 in personal items for herself and other union executives.
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U.S. prosecutors have charged Virdell King, a former United Auto Workers Union associate director, with using a credit card from a UAW-Chrysler training center to buy more than $40,000 in personal items for herself and other union officials.

King, the first African-American woman to head a UAW-Chrysler union local, is the fourth person accused in a $4.5 million embezzlement investigation. Prosecutors say ex-UAW and Chrysler officials diverted worker training funds to pay off mortgages, buy exotic cars and fund lavish home improvements and acquire personal luxury goods.

The original value of the embezzlement was set at $2.2 million. But the amount has since doubled. The highest-ranking former Chrysler official indicted to date is Alphons Iacobelli, who reportedly has been suspended from his current job as executive director of labor relations at General Motors Co.

Iacobelli is accused of embezzling $1 million for himself from the UAW-Chrysler training center between 2009 and 2014. He also is charged of diverting an additional $1.2 million to General Holiefield, who was the UAW’s top Chrysler official at the time. Holiefield died two years ago, but his widow, Monica Morgan, also has been indicted.

A fourth person, FCA financial analyst Jerome Durden, pleaded guilty a week ago to laundering funds to hide the conspiracy. He is believed to have revealed about $2.3 million in additional payments to King and others still under investigation.

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