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DRAINING THE SWAMP: Union President Has Home Raided by FBI and IRS in Corruption Probe

UAW President Gary Jones’ home in Michigan was raided this morning.

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The FBI and IRS raided the home of United Auto Workers (UAW) President Gary Jones on Wednesday morning, as apart of a corruption probe on the autoworkers union.

Federal authorities have also raided UAW locations across the country, including their conference center in northern Michigan looking for evidence to bolster their ongoing corruption probe against the influential union.

Jones’ home in Canton, MI, a suburb of Detroit, was raided by up to 12 federal agents who scoured his domicile collecting evidence earlier today. Federal authorities conducted what they call a “knock and announce” raid and refused to say whether anyone was home when it was conducted.

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The scandal that prompted the series of raids is related to allegedly misused funds that were intended to be spent on the union’s shared training center with Fiat Chrysler. The scandal also encompasses vendor deals and officials associated with the UAW’s General Motors training center. Nine individuals have been implicated in the scandal thus far.

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The UAW has released a statement denying all wrongdoing:

The UAW and President Gary Jones have always fully cooperated with the government investigators in this matter. As the leader of the UAW, President Jones is determined to uncover and address any and all wrongdoing, wherever it might lead. There was absolutely no need for search warrants to be used by the government today — the UAW has voluntarily responded to every request the government has made throughout the course of its investigation, produced literally hundreds of thousands of documents and other materials to the government, and most importantly, when wrongdoing has been discovered, we have taken strong action to address it. The UAW will continue to cooperate with the government in its investigation, as we have been doing throughout.

Trust in UAW leadership is never more important than during the bargaining process, when profit-laden auto companies stand to benefit from media leaks, false assumptions, and political grandstanding. The sole focus of President Jones and his team will be winning at the bargaining table for our members.

Long-time union members are losing faith in their institution as a result of this latest bout of corruption.

“I believe in the UAW. I also believe if there was any corruption, whoever was involved, belongs in jail. If Gary Jones was involved with it, he belongs behind bars. I’m really torn with this. I’m a strong union member. The whole corruption thing, it’s dirty man. How do you preach to new members the UAW cares about you? It doesn’t help the cause,” a Ford factory worker told the Detroit Free Press.

“We’re getting ready to go into one of the biggest negotiations of our lifetime and we’re possibly going to lose faith in our union,” said UAW member Sean Crawford, a worker at GM’s Flint Assembly plant.

“All these people should step down and allow a democratic electoral process to take place, an election of leadership that is run by the members,” Crawford added. “The union has to be blamed for this too and it’s disgusting. It makes us all look bad.”

The UAW, which has been historically plagued with corruption, is no longer protected by a Democratic president who relies on union cronyism for campaign donations. The Trump administration is draining the swamp and protecting workers in a key battleground state with these raids.

The Swamp

Texas Software Billionaire Charged in Largest Tax Fraud Indictment in US History

He’s accused of hiding $2 billion from taxes.

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A Texas software billionaire is being charged with tax evasion in a case federal prosecutors are describing as the largest incidence of tax fraud in American history.

79-year old Robert Brockman was charged in a 39-count indictment that includes charges of money laundering, conspiracy, wire fraud, and tax evasion, with an indictment being unsealed by the US Attorney for the District of San Francisco on Thursday.

Brockman is the CEO of the Reynolds & Reynolds Company, which develops software for automotive companies. He’s being accused of hiding more than $2 billion in capital gains from the IRS, utilizing a complex scheme of companies and trusts registered in notorious Caribbean tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands to conceal his wealth.

Brockman is alleged to have intentionally destroyed electronic devices, documents and other pieces of evidence that would reveal the nature of his tax avoidance system in the unsealed indictment. He was released from jail custody on a $1 million bond Thursday, and has plead not guilty to the charges.

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David Anderson, a San Francisco federal prosecutor, described the magnitude of Brockman’s alleged tax cheating setup at a press conference announcing the charges on Thursday. “The allegation of a $2 billion tax fraud is the largest-ever tax charge against an individual in the United States,” he said.

The evidence that led to the indictment of Brockman was largely obtained from another billionaire, Robert Smith. Smith agreed to a non-prosecution with federal authorities earlier this month for tax evasion of his own, providing information on tax avoidance schemes utilized by the ultra-wealthy.

Greed of this nature is absolutely sickening, if the allegations made in the indictment are legitimate. The IRS should relentlessly pursue billionaires such as Brockman and Smith, making their tax compliance the priority over “average” Americans.

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