Former UAW Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $2.2 Million

(The Center Square) A former treasurer of the United Auto Workers (UAW) has pleaded guilty to money laundering and embezzling $2.2 million from member dues.

Timothy Edmunds, the former financial secretary-treasurer of Local 412 of the UAW, is one of 17 defendants thus far convicted with the ongoing criminal investigation into UAW corruption and related illegal payoffs.

​​For 10 years, Edmunds served as the secretary-treasurer of Local 412 of the UAW union headquartered in Warren. The local represents about 2,600 members.

Edmunds was responsible for managing millions of dollars according to local rules. Instead, he drained $2.2 million from Local 412 accounts using debit cards for over $142,000 in personal purchases, cashed Local 412 checks worth $170,000 into accounts he controlled, and transferred $1.5 million from Local 412 into his accounts.

Court records say Edmunds spent that money buying firearms, gambling, and vehicles. Edmunds hid the money under fake bank statements and caused false Department of Labor (DOL) reports to be filed.

Court documents say Edmunds used the UAW Local 412 debit card to make more than $30,000 in unauthorized withdrawals at the Greektown Casino between 2018 and 2020. While gambling at the Greektown Casino, records indicate Edmunds had cash buy-ins more than $1 million and put $16 million in play while betting at the casino.

Additionally, Edmunds registered at least 10 firearms in that time valued between $500 and $2,000 per firearm. Records say Edmunds also spent UAW funds on a 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT for $74,365, a 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk for $96,419 and a 2021 Dodge Durango for $76,491. Edmunds also leased two 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited.

Edmunds faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. For money laundering, Edmunds faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Under the parties’ Rule 11 Plea Agreement, Edmunds faces a sentencing guideline between 46 to 57 months in prison. Edmunds also will owe $1.9 million in restitution to the UAW. Edmunds returned about $300,000 in stolen UAW funds before his crimes were discovered.

U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison welcomed a collaborative effort to find fraud.

“The hard-working men and women of the UAW deserve leaders dedicated to serving the best interests of the membership,” Ison said in a statement. “Today’s conviction demonstrates our zealous pursuit of those who would seek to take advantage of their positions of trust within the UAW to steal and defraud union members.”

In December 2020, the United States sued the International UAW under the Anti-Fraud Injunction Act based on the criminal investigation of the UAW, and FCA US LLC, now known as Stellantis. 

In January 2021, FCA pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Taft-Hartley Act and was ordered to pay a fine of $30 million as well as subjected to an outside monitor for three years.

The parties entered into a Consent Decree to settle the lawsuit that the U.S. District Court approved. The court has appointed attorney Neil Barofsky to serve as the Independent Monitor of the UAW for six years, which tasks him to provide federal oversight of UAW fraud, corruption and misconduct.

“By stealing money from the union, Tim Edmunds betrayed the UAW members who elected him to serve on their behalf,” said Josh Hauxhurst, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office. “The FBI will continue to work with our federal partners to root out corruption from the UAW and other labor unions.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Gardey is prosecuting the case.