Former UAW local official pleads guilty to embezzling more than $2 million of union funds

DETROIT — Tim Edmunds, a former UAW official at Local 412 in Warren, Mich., pleaded guilty Friday to embezzling $2.2 million in union funds and to money laundering.

He could face up to nearly five years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan

The guilty pleas come roughly four months after Edmunds, 54, was charged with the crimes after an internal UAW audit discovered the wrongdoing. He is the 16th individual charged — and 16th to plead guilty — in the government’s ongoing corruption probe that has resulted in a six-year period of oversight for the union.

Under the terms of a plea agreement, Edmunds faces 46 to 57 months in prison and will owe $1.9 million in restitution to the UAW. Prosecutors say he returned $300,000 in stolen funds to the union before his crimes were discovered.

Prosecutors have alleged that Edmunds, who served as financial secretary, “systemically drained” Local 412’s accounts of more than $2 million by using business credit cards for personal purchases, transferring cash to his personal accounts and cashing Local 412 checks into his personal accounts.

He used that money to gamble as well as purchase luxury clothing, high-end automobiles and firearms, according to charging documents.

Over a two-year period, for example, prosecutors say he used a Local 412 debit card to make over $30,000 in unauthorized withdrawals at Greektown Casino in Detroit. He also purchased a number of vehicles, including a $74,000 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, a $96,000 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and a $76,000 2021 Dodge Durango.

“The hard-working men and women of the UAW deserve leaders dedicated to serving the best interests of the membership,” U.S. Attorney Dawn N. 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.”

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