The 9 a.m. sentencing caps the downfall of former @UAW President Gary Jones, whose short, reclusive tenure started with cheers at a Cobo Center coronation and ended with his hand in the till, FBI raids and catcalls during a Labor Day march… via @detroitnews
Jones was a veteran thief by the time he was handpicked to lead the @UAW in June 2018. He held annual junkets for his high-ranking colleagues in Palm Springs, ringing up huge bills on booze, golf and private villas -- all paid for with union cash…
At the time, @UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg called the Palm Springs expenses "reasonable."

“UAW expenditures on these annual training conferences — all of which are publicly reported — are entirely reasonable."
Not so, the feds proved. Here's what Gary Jones admitted in court
The itemized expenses were not publicly reported (or legal) as Jones spent thousands of dollars on cigars for his boss, then-President Dennis Williams, aka "UAW Official B"
@UAW brass, and their close associates, got private villas in Palm Springs. Here's the $500,000 villa rented for Dennis Williams' aide Amy Loasching…
Loasching has been accused of participating in a conspiracy with Gary Jones, Dennis Williams and others. Federal agents visited her Wisconsin home during a series of raids two years ago…
UAW funds paid for private villas for Loasching in California from 2014-16, including one villa rented for 67 days at a cost of more than $11,000, according to the feds…
After the nationwide federal raids in August 2019, @UAW President Gary Jones resigned. He started cooperating with the feds long before he was ever charged with a crime.

His lawyer lays out the timeline:…
His cooperation helped prosecutors secure the conviction of former President Dennis Williams…
Former @UAW President Gary Jones was charged in February 2020 and accused of embezzling more than $1 million, racketeering and income tax evasion…
Jones pleaded guilty in June 2020 but sentencing was delayed by the pandemic. Unlike others convicted in the @UAW scandal, Jones refused to be sentenced via Zoom…
Former @UAW President Gary Jones has been busy while awaiting prison. He is building a nearly $700,000 waterfront home in Corsicana, Texas, near Dallas. The joint is so new it doesn't show up on satellite imagery
Prosecutors today are David Gardey, head of the corruption unit, and Steve Cares. They were both involved in this memorable case involving a fugitive, a Rolls-Royce Phantom and Snoop Dogg…
Bruce Maffeo, the lawyer for former @UAW President Gary Jones, represented the International Brotherhood of Teamsters after the union was linked to organized crime…
A masked U.S. District Judge Paul Borman is almost ready to start the sentencing hearing. I'm watching via Zoom, @bykaleahall is in court
The courtroom gallery in downtown Detroit is almost empty, maybe five people, because the court is still closed to the public.

Plexiglass partitions have been installed on the bench and at the prosecution/defense tables
The judge is talking about how much money former @UAW President Gary Jones is going to forfeit and pay. Restitution is $550,000 to the UAW, $42,000 to the IRS, and he will forfeit $151,377.
Defense lawyer Bruce Maffeo is up.

“The impact of Mr. Jones’ conviction and other related prosecutions in this district cannot be underestimated. “The impact will be felt for years to come.”
"What came through to me is a sense of personal entitlement by senior leadership," Jones' lawyer said. "They elevated their own personal benefit over their members’ interests.”
“While this conviction is clearly going to mark him, as well it should because of the significance and seriousness of the crimes, I would argue it doesn’t define the man,” Jones’ lawyer said.
Maffeo is charting Gary Jones’ career from a Ford assembly line to the top of the @UAW.

"That is really what the union movement strives to bring to members of its union and Mr. Jones benefited from that in a significant way as did his family.”
"He knew enough to say no and he didn’t. That is to his eternal regret and shame and that is a burden he and his family will be carrying with them for the rest of their lives -- even after this proceeding and its consequences are soldiered through," Maffeo said.
Gary Jones has cooperated with the investigation, helping secure the conviction of former @UAW President Dennis Williams.

“He’s done everything he can do to try and pay back the debt he owes to the union, his family and society,” Maffeo said.
Gary Jones voluntarily quit his lucrative @UAW job as the walls were closing in. It was a calculated move but rare, his lawyer said.

“It was an act of modest courage lacking in other people I’ve represented,” Maffeo said.
“All I ask, is when you reach that sentence, when you make that sentencing decision, you measure the man as a whole," Maffeo said.

Up now, Gary Jones...
Jones is speaking as fast as an auctioneer, his voice quivering as he apologizes to his family.

“I failed them. I failed the UAW. I let my union down. I pray every day that no harm comes to the UAW.”
“I’m sorry for being here today and I plead for your mercy,” Jones said.
Up now: Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gardey:

“(Gary Jones) was a good man who found himself and worked in a culture of corruption, which was the leadership of the United Auto Workers union," Gardey tells the judge.
Prosecutor rips @UAW for a “lack of Democracy” at the highest levels of the union.

The culture includes an “unquestioning obedience to bosses,” Gary said.
The prosecutor portrays Gary Jones as a toady, making corruption worse by wasting member dues buying cigars and renting private villas for former President Dennis Williams and serving the late regional director Jim Wells.

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More from @robertsnellnews

10 Jun
Former @UAW President Gary Jones is sentenced to 28 months in federal prison for stealing from union members while corrupting one of the country’s most influential unions.
Here's all the cash -- and golf gear -- Gary Jones is giving up as part of his conviction…
Gary Jones wants to serve the sentence at a federal prison camp in Texas…
Read 4 tweets
18 May
Disgraced @UAW regional director Vance Pearson gets a new sentencing date in federal court for his role in union embezzlement scandal.

Old date: June 10.
New date: July 8
In the meantime, here's the search warrant federal agents obtained to raid Pearson's home in Missouri…
Here's all the hooch agents were searching for at Pearson's home
Read 5 tweets
21 Apr
The submarine was designed to store cocaine and attach itself via magnets to the hull of cargo ships crisscrossing the Atlantic Ocean… via @detroitnews
From earlier on the Detroit/drugs/submarine beat:…
Read 4 tweets
13 Oct 20
There is one more defendant accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer who is awaiting a decision on bond today. That is Brandon Caserta, 32, of Canton Township
Caserta is dangerous, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler says. He reads a message Caserta sent regarding a separate threat.

“The end times are approaching for these piece of s--- cops and I mean that with every cell in my body,” Caserta wrote.
Now the feds are playing a recording of Caserta complaining about being “robbed and enslaved by the state.” This is from Oct. 7, the day of his arrest.

“I’m taking out as many of those mother f------ as I can,” Caserta says. “Every single one of those...government thugs.”
Read 13 tweets
13 Oct 20
We are still awaiting bond decisions for two others accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. They are:

-- Daniel Harris, 23, of Lake Orion, AKA "Beaker"
-- Brandon Caserta, 32, of Canton Township, AKA "Debased Tyrant"
In bid to keep Harris locked up, an FBI agent is reading a message in which Harris is soliciting someone to kill a former police officer in Maine
The FBI agent is reading a message from Harris.

"You have to dispose of him and maybe the wife.”
Read 13 tweets
13 Oct 20
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Berens says Kaleb “Red Hot” Franks is not a risk of flight. Now she is talking about potential danger to the community.

Franks is accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Although the Whitmer kidnapping plot has been disrupted, it could continue in the future, the judge says
The magistrate is going through overt acts involving Franks. I did the same this morning. You can read the annotated FBI affidavit here…
Read 6 tweets

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