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Former Fiat-Chrysler executive pleads guilty to lying about UAW bribe scheme

Auto Manufacturers
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Fiat-Chrysler's  former human resources director has pleaded guilty to lying to a federal grand jury to cover up a conspiracy to pay off top UAW officials.

Michael Brown, 60, entered his guilty plea Friday.

Brown was Fiat-Chrysler’s senior negotiator during collective bargaining talks with UAW-Chrysler in 2011 and 2015.

According to Detroit U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider’s office, “Brown identified that the purpose of the conspiracy was to 'grease the skids' on behalf of FCA in its relationship and negotiations with the UAW.”

The “large-scale” conspiracy involved large payoffs, as well as golfing trips and other perks, to senior UAW leaders involved in union negotiations.

“The real victims here are the hard working men and women of the UAW, and my office will continue to pursue, expose, and prosecute corporate executives and union officials who put their own personal greed ahead of their duties to do their jobs," Schneider said in a statement.

Seven people have been charged as part of the conspiracy so far. Including Brown, six have now pleaded guilty.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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