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Former UAW official charged in Fiat Chrysler payoff probe

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Staff Writer | August 19, 2017
A former senior official at the United Auto Workers trade union was charged with conspiring with other union officials to accept improper payments from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles officials over a four-year period.
Virdell King
Auto industry   The Justice Department charged King
Virdell King of Detroit, who a union official until February 2016, was charged with conspiracy to violate labor laws in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

King was one of the senior UAW officials responsible for negotiating and administering the contract between Fiat Chrysler and the union, the government said.

A lawyer for King, John Shea, declined to comment Friday. King is the fourth person charged in the investigation.

The Justice Department charged King with accepting thousands of dollars in designer shoes, clothing, jewelry, luggage and other personal items, all of which were purchased using credit cards issued through the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center (NTC).

She also made at least $40,000 in purchases for other UAW officials, the government said.

The government has said Jerome Durden, a former Fiat Chrysler official, conspired to divert over $4.5 million in NTC funds intended for UAW member training and education.

He pleaded guilty on August 8 to conspiracy and preparing false tax returns and faces up to 37 months in prison under a plea deal.