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Stellantis Pays to Settle Fed’s Corruption Charges

Jan. 28, 2021
A three-year investigation into collusion and bribery of UAW officials by former FCA execs is ending with a $30-million penalty and a guilty plea by the new automotive group.

Newly established automaking group Stellantis has entered into a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors and will pay $30 million to conclude a criminal investigation into collusion and bribery of United Auto Workers union officials by former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Federal prosecutors completed a separate plea deal with the UAW in December.

Stellantis was established on January 16 with merger of FCA and Groupe PSA.

In addition to the fine, Stellantis agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Labor Management Relations Act. The automaker also agreed to hire an independent compliance monitor for three years to oversee the dissolution of a training facility where the collusion was focused, the federal probe determined.

U.S. attorney Matthew Schneider stated that Fiat Chrysler executives conspired to make illegal gifts and payments to UAW officials totaling more than $3.5 million, including payment of a former UAW leader’s mortgage and use of company-paid credit cards for extravagant personal purchases.

“This proposed resolution ensures that FCA will be held accountable for its actions, the actions of its executives,” Schneider stated. “This resolution also seeks to ensure that similar criminal conduct will not happen again.”

The federal investigation was announced in mid-2017, focusing on the training center maintained by FCA and UAW. It later expanded to investigate training centers operated by UAW with Ford Motor Co. and General Motors.

The federal investigation has led to convictions of 15 people, including two past UAW presidents and three FCA executives.

Schneider reported that the investigation into Ford is ongoing, but that GM is no longer under investigation.

Ford is reported to be cooperating with investigators.

General Motors last year sued FCA alleging it targeted GM by colluding with the UAW, but that suit was dismissed.

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