(Reuters) – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles pleaded guilty on Monday to conspiracy with business leaders to make illegal, extravagant gifts to United Auto Workers (UAW) leaders and undermined workers' confidence in collective bargaining.
The US unit of the Italian-American carmaker, which is now part of Stellantis NV, said in January that an agreement had been reached with US prosecutors to plead guilty to a conspiracy to violate labor law and pay a fine of $ 30 million.
USA District Judge Paul Borman said at a court hearing that he accepted Fiat Chrysler's obligation and set a sentencing date for June 21.
Fiat Chrysler also agreed to a three-year review and supervision by an independent monitoring supervisor to ensure compliance with federal labor laws.
The Department of Justice said that Fiat Chrysler conspired to make more than $ 3.5 million in illegal payments to then-UAW officials from 2009 to 201
In December, the UAW agreed to independent oversight to solve the corruption investigation, which anchored two former UAW presidents.
Federal prosecutors in Detroit indicted 15 former UAW officials as part of their investigation, and former Presidents Gary Jones and Dennis Williams both pleaded guilty to embezzlement of union funds. Mr Williams is scheduled to be sentenced on April 16.
Several UAW officials, including the two former UAW presidents, acknowledged that they had embezzled millions of dollars in total for personal gain, using funds to buy expensive liquor and cigars and to pay for golf excursions. and associated equipment and expensive hotel stays.
The investigation led competing automaker General Motors to sue Fiat Chrysler last year, accusing business leaders of bribing UAW officials to secure employment contracts that put GM at a disadvantage.
Judge Borman in July rejected GM's trial, which Fiat Chrysler called "meritless."
On Thursday, a federal appeals court will try GM's attempt to revive the trial. In January, GM said Fiat Chrysler had finally acknowledged "after years of denial – that they were engaging in a long-standing corruption pattern."