Former UAW Vice President Joe Ashton speaks throughout a GM announcement at a plant in Spring Hill, Tenn. in 2011.
Former General Motors board member Joe Ashton, a retired United Auto Workers chief, was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in jail for fraud and cash laundering as a part of an ongoing federal probe into the union.
Ashton, who resigned from the GM board in December 2017 after being linked to the corruption, pleaded responsible to the costs in December as a part of a cope with U.S. prosecutors and agreed to forfeit $250,000 he admitted to illegally receiving in bribes and kickbacks.
Money laundering is punishable by as much as 10 years in jail, whereas the fraud cost might be as much as 20 years. However, federal prosecutors advised his sentence be between 30 and 37 months as a part of the plea deal.
Ashton’s spouse, one in all his 4 grownup sons and a household good friend spoke on his behalf through the listening to, which was performed through Zoom. Dozens of supporters wrote letters on Ashton’s behalf, together with one unidentified member of Congress, in line with The Detroit News.
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman stated he took the feedback in addition to the letters into consideration when figuring out the sentencing. Ashton is not going to should report for incarceration till June 2021 because of the coronavirus. Ashton’s legal professional had requested leniency from jail because of the coronavirus pandemic, whereas prosecutors argued for 37 months because of the monetary severity of the crimes.
Ashton is one in all 15 folks charged and convicted as a part of the federal corruption probe, together with two latest UAW presidents and three Fiat Chrysler executives.
“I cannot tell you how ashamed and remorseful I am for what I’ve done,” Ashton stated through the listening to. “I betrayed the trust that my union members had in for me for over 50 years, and for that I am genuinely sorry. I take full ownership of my actions and no apology will ever change the damage that I have done.”
The prices centered on Ashton’s place overseeing a collectively operated coaching heart with GM often known as the Center for Human Resources, which the corporate dissolved as a part of a brand new labor settlement with the union final yr. Ashton oversaw the power from 2010 to 2014 when he retired from the union.
A scheme recognized by federal prosecutors concerned a $four million contract with the coaching facility for commemorative watches. Ashton demanded $250,000 from the seller, which he had instructed to create a brand new firm to supply the watches, which have been by no means distributed to members.
The UAW, in an announcement Tuesday, stated Ashton’s sentence was “appropriate.” It stated his “crimes defy everything we stand for as a union and demonstrate his lack of respect for the oath of office he took and the rank-and-file members he represented.”
In an emailed assertion Tuesday, GM stated Ashton’s sentencing “is another reminder of criminal activities which caused harm to GM.” The firm stated it is “an extraordinary breach of fiduciary duty,” which is why GM is “seeking to hold him accountable through a civil lawsuit.” GM previously described Ashton’s actions as “outrageous.”