Former UAW official Edmunds gets 57 months in prison for embezzlement

Anna Liz Nichols
The Detroit News

A former United Auto Workers official was sentenced to 57 months in prison Tuesday for embezzling over $2 million from the union.

Timothy Edmunds, 54, pleaded guilty in March to embezzlement and money laundering while serving as the financial secretary/treasurer of UAW Local 412. He worked at the union from 2011-20.

Tim Edmunds

Edmunds of Madison Heights is the 17th defendant convicted in a years-long attack on corruption within the auto industry and one of the nation's most influential unions. He was responsible for managing and investing money for Local 412, which represents around 2,600 workers.

Investigators found that Edmunds used union debit cards for personal purchases, cashed union checks into personal accounts and created false bank statements to conceal his systematic theft.

Edmunds took $2.1 million from the organization between 2015-21, and federal prosecutors said evidence showed that he used the money for gambling, cocaine, cars and firearms. Between 2018 and 2020 Edmunds spent $30,000 on a union debit card at Greektown Casino alone. 

“Mr. Edmunds betrayed his union brothers and sisters by stealing their dues money to satisfy his own greed,” U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison said in a Tuesday statement. “Today’s sentence demonstrates our continuing dedication to cleaning out corruption in the UAW.” 

On top of the prison time, Edmunds will have to pay $1,963,740 in restitution to UAW Local 412 as well as a $1 million fine.

The case represented the first criminal charges filed since a court-appointed corruption watchdog was installed to oversee reforms within the union. Prosecutors filed the charges more than one month after UAW leaders revealed its auditors discovered more than $2 million in improper expenditures of union dues at Local 412, whose members include Stellantis NV workers.

Staff Writer Robert Snell contributed.