President Donald Trump talks with auto industry leaders, including General Motors CEO Mary Barra (L) and United Auto Workers (UAW) President Dennis Williams (R) at the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan, U.S. March 15, 2017.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
DETROIT — Former United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams was charged with embezzlement and defrauding the U.S. government as part of a multiyear corruption probe into one of America’s most prominent unions.
Williams, who led the organization from 2014 to 2018, is the second president of the union to be charged. His successor, Gary Jones, pleaded guilty to racketeering and embezzlement of union funds in June.
Federal prosecutors say Williams and at least six other senior UAW officials engaged in a multi-year conspiracy to conceal hundreds of thousands of dollars in lavish entertainment such as golf trips and high-end dinners in the cost of UAW conferences.
The charges against Williams, 67, were unsealed Thursday as part of a criminal information. Criminal information documents are routinely used to charge people who intend to plead guilty.
The homes of Jones, Williams and other union officials were raided a year ago as part of the investigation, which was made public in July 2017.
Williams is the 15th person to be charged with wrongdoing as part of the investigation. So far, 11 UAW officials, one person affiliated with the union and three executives with Fiat Chrysler have pleaded guilty.
Originally published: 2020-08-27 11:22:32