DETROIT - The Chrysler group on Wednesday said it had fired four employees after an internal four-month investigation discovered a $100,000 kickback scheme that had been taking place since late spring 2001.
The automaker said the employees at its stamping plant in Sterling Heights, Mich., received cash and gifts from suppliers in exchange for business contracts.
The spokeswoman declined to name the employees or identify the suppliers involved. She said two of the former employees were salaried, and two others were hourly workers. At least one was a lower-level executive manager, she said.
Chrysler turned over its findings to the Detroit FBI office, a spokeswoman for the automaker said Wednesday.
DaimlerChrysler has a zero-tolerance policy for employees and suppliers. Under the policy, gifts only can be given when they are directly related to business and must be reported and recorded. Employees are not allowed to request gifts.
A Chrysler employee blew the whistle on the kickback scheme, the automaker said.
Chrysler has a toll-free number for employees to make anonymous calls, but the spokeswoman declined to say whether such a call was placed in this case.