DETROIT -- Former Fiat Chrysler financial analyst Jerome Durden was released on a $10,000 bond Friday after he was charged in federal court on accusations of participating in a plot between the automaker and the UAW to pipe millions from an employee training fund for personal use.
Durden, 61, faces one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of failure to file a tax return while he worked for the automaker. The fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The tax charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $20,000 fine.
In a 16-page indictment, unsealed last week, prosecutors say more than $1 million in UAW-Chrysler National Training Center funds were spent by FCA executives and union leaders for personal use.
The indictment alleges Durden used $4,300 in union funds to purchase and install carpeting in his home in suburban Detroit.
Durden's lawyer, Judith S. Gracey, declined to comment.
In a separate indictment released last week, former FCA labor relations chief Alphons Iacobelli and Monica Morgan, widow of UAW Vice President General Holiefield, were named as key figures in the alleged scheme. Both had a plea of not guilty entered on their behalf and were released on $10,000 bonds.
The arraignment comes less than a week before Durden's plea hearing, slated for Tuesday, in federal court in Ann Arbor, Mich., according to court records. Iacobelli's appearance is scheduled for the same day. Durden was ordered by U.S. Magistrate Judge David Grand to relinquish his passport following his plea hearing.
In addition to his position as an analyst in the accounting department, Durden controlled the budget for the training center, intended to help blue-collar workers, between 2008 and 2014.
Iacobelli abruptly parted ways with FCA in June 2015 after Holiefield's death in March that year. At the time, the automaker said Iacobelli retired, but in light of the charges, FCA said Iacobelli and Durden were fired after the company investigated possible wrongdoing with the training funds.
Durden, who stood mute during the arraignment, declined to comment as he left the courthouse alone.
More people are expected to be charged. Several individuals are mentioned in the 42-page indictment of Morgan and Iacobelli, but the government has yet to release their identities.