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A union president who got his start in Rock Island was sentenced to almost two years in prison for embezzlement
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A union president who got his start in Rock Island was sentenced to almost two years in prison for embezzlement

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Dennis Williams, the former president of the international United Auto Workers union who got his start in leadership in Rock Island, was sentenced Tuesday to 21 months in prison.

Williams, 67, was convicted for conspiring with another former UAW president, Gary Jones, and other senior UAW officials to embezzle UAW money between 2010 and 2019, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Michigan. Williams served as president of the UAW from 2014 to 2018.

Williams reportedly concealed hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenditures in the cost of UAW conferences. Officials submitted reimbursement forms to the union for money supposedly spent in connection with leadership and training conferences, when in reality that money was spent on lavish entertainment and personal spending, including multi-month long stays at private villas in Palm Springs, cigars, golfing apparel, green fees at golf courses, and high-end liquor and meals, the release states.

As part of the sentencing, Williams was ordered to give up a custom-made set of Titleist golf clubs and various golf clothing and equipment seized during an August 2019 search of his residence. He's also been ordered to pay $15,459 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service on embezzled items that he personally received, and to pay $132,517 in restitution to the UAW.

Williams is the sixteenth defendant convicted in connection with the ongoing criminal investigation into corruption within the UAW.

Williams is a 1962 graduate of Rock Island High School and worked as a welder for J.I. Case.


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