DETROIT — If indictments are levied against more people for conspiracy, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the UAW will find themselves embroiled in a scandal that could eclipse most others in recent automotive history.
Last week, a federal indictment alleged FCA executives partnered with UAW leaders to siphon funds earmarked for employee training to line their own pockets. The indictment lays out a scenario in which many more charges could be levied against FCA employees and other high-ranking UAW officials who may have been involved.
For now, just two FCA executives face charges. Eight more executives and UAW leaders, in total, have been mentioned but not named.
The 42-page document outlines a multimillion-dollar conspiracy, alleging UAW and FCA officials used embezzled funds to support lavish lifestyles involving first-class trips, $37,500 solid-gold pens and a $350,000 Ferrari 458 Spider.
The indictment, unsealed last week, describes the alleged illegal dealings of former FCA labor relations chief Alphons Iacobelli, deceased UAW Vice President General Holiefield and his widow, Monica Morgan, a prominent Detroit photographer. Morgan will be arraigned in a Detroit federal court today, July 31. Iacobelli will be arraigned Tuesday, Aug. 1.
Federal investigators claim the three were at the center of a conspiracy from 2009 through 2014 that included Iacobelli personally pocketing $1 million and helping funnel $1.2 million from the UAW- Chrysler National Training Center to Holiefield, Morgan and other high-ranking members of the union.
The indictment specifically mentions at least eight unnamed people while vaguely mentioning "other" groups of people. Separately, federal officials announced fraud charges against former FCA financial analyst Jerome Durden, who is accused of creating false tax returns to hide payments to Holiefield, Iacobelli and other beneficiaries who were not identified.
"More could be charged," said Peter Henning, a former federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., and professor at Wayne State University Law School. Henning said it's typical in investigations such as these for additional witnesses, informants and co-conspirators to be named after the initial round of arraignments.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne told employees in an email last week that the actions "were of course neither known nor sanctioned by FCA."