The wife of a late United Auto Workers union official was sentenced to 18 months in prison in connection with a a federal corruption investigation at a training center run by the union and automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, according to published reports.
In addition to the prison term, Monica Morgan, 55, was sentenced Friday to a one-year supervised release and a $25,000 fine. She must also pay an additional $88,000 in restitution, and has paid about $102,000 to date, the Detroit Free Press reported.
In February, Morgan pleaded guilty to a tax charge for hiding $201,000 on her 2011 taxes. Other charges, including one alleging conspiracy, were dismissed in exchange for her plea, reports state.
Morgan acknowledged in plea documents that the money “came from criminal activity,” the Free Press reported.
Morgan is the widow of the late General Holiefield, a former UAW vice president. Authorities say he worked with former FCA Vice President Alphons Iacobelli in a scheme that misused $4.5 million. Iacobelli has pleaded guilty and faces up to 8 years in prison during sentencing scheduled for August.
The investigation also extends to several now-former FCA and UAW officials, according to the Free Press.
“The leadership of both FCA and the union have denied the case was indicative of widespread corruption, saying it was instead limited to a few bad actors,” the Free Press reported.
How did the organizations respond?
Following the sentencing, the UAW issued the following statement:
The misconduct of certain individuals in this case has been disturbing. Importantly, however, the wrongdoing did not involve union funds or affect our collective bargaining agreements. The UAW has taken strong measures to prevent a reoccurrence of this type of of misconduct and our new leadership team continues to oversee improvements in our operations and financial controls.
In previous statements, Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of FCA, has denied any wrongdoing by the company.
In contrast, prosecutors maintain that “the payoffs were aimed at influencing FCA-UAW contract negotiations in the company's favor,” according to the report.
Morgan, a prominent Detroit-area photographer, had a "high-flying lifestyle" despite declaring an annual income of a little more than $5,400, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gardey reportedly said.
The Detroit Free Press added: "He described first-class travel, said she spent tens of thousands of dollars, had helped funnel $325,000 to a fake hospice and still has access to $680,000. In addition, Gardey said about $80,000 in bogus photography courses had been set up to send money to her business."
In contrast, Morgan's defense attorney, Steven Fishman, said she made an unfortunate mistake but has dedicated her life to helping her community, the report stated.