Another hearing is set for today in the case of Timothy Edmunds, a Michigan local representative for United Auto Workers, who has been detained and charged with embezzling $2 million from the fund’s money. He is set to appear in court today as he is currently “temporarily detained,” which means that he may still be set free after today’s hearing if the judge considers him a no flight risk or if the charges against him are dropped.
The latter scenario is unlikely as the seriousness of the alleged crime requires thorough investigation. Presently, Edmunds is facing 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for his money laundering charge. Along with another five-year sentence for his embezzling and a $10,000 fine. Edmunds has been part of UAW Local 412 in Warren, Mich for the past ten years, serving as financial secretary-treasurer. This put him in control of all the money that was going through the union’s coffers. That could have been his opportunity to divert the funds.
How Did It Come to Edmunds Suspected of Embezzling?
The money is gone and that is not a question of if but a state of fact. However, Edmunds’ guilt in the matter is not proven just yet. A complaint was filed on October 27 after a US Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General agent received a tip that money had gone missing from UAW’s coffers.
Investigators were led to Edmunds after finding out that some $142,000 had been redirected to his union debit credit with $30,000 worth of withdrawals at ATMs from 2018 through 2020. The ATMs withdrawals were done at Greektown Casino.
Between 2016 and 2020, the investigation alleged, Edmunds had delivered buy-ins north of $1 million, and the total amount of gambling done exceeded $16 million in the four-year span. Handling such amounts should have alerted authorities much sooner, but Edmunds, the investigation claims, was smarter than that.
He knew that if he cashed out more than a given amount, he would be reported on the Currency Transaction Report, which is obligatory under the Bank Secrecy Act. Cashing $10,000 of chips at a time, Edmunds seemed to avoid being detected.
Trying to Cover His Tracks with Fake Records
Of course, Edmunds excessive gambling doesn’t mean he necessary procured the funds from the UAW’s coffers. However, investigators did find out that Edmunds had bought several luxury goods and leased several automobiles.
Initially handled internationally, UAW auditors closed in on Edmunds who produced a fake bank record. It didn’t take long for the investigators to catch up and alert the department. As things stand, the case against Edmunds is damning. Federal officials have criticized Edmunds’ alleged actions and stated that he had betrayed the trust of fellow union workers. Those allegations have yet to be proven.