DETROIT -- General Motors suspended Alphons Iacobelli after federal officials accused him of being at the center of a multiyear, multimillion-dollar criminal conspiracy while previously leading labor negotiations at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
A source familiar with knowledge of his employment on Wednesday confirmed a report from The Detroit News that Iacobelli was suspended within a day of being indicted by a federal grand jury on July 26. It remains unclear whether the suspension is with or without pay.
Since the indictment was unsealed, GM has repeatedly declined to comment on Iacobelli's employment. A spokesman once again declined to comment on Wednesday.
A lawyer for Iacobelli also declined to comment on his client's employment status.
Feds originally accused Iacobelli of being at the center of a conspiracy from 2009 through 2014 that included Iacobelli personally pocketing $1 million and helping funnel $1.2 million from the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center to then-UAW Vice President General Holiefield and other high-ranking members of the union. Holiefield died in 2015; his widow, Monica Morgan, was indicted with Iacobelli.
The amount of money said to have been stolen has risen to $4.5 million, according to a plea deal for a third official charged in the conspiracy. The U.S. Attorney's Office could not immediately explain the increase.
Iacobelli abruptly parted ways with FCA in June 2015, a few months after Holiefield's death in March of that year. He was hired roughly six months later by GM in January 2016 as executive director of labor relations.
Officials allege Iacobelli and Holiefield, who led contract negotiations between the company and union in 2011, and others used a charity, businesses set up by Morgan, credit cards and other means to siphon the money provided by FCA to the National Training Center for personal gain and expenditures. The funds were allegedly used to pay off a $262,000 mortgage and to purchase a $350,000 Ferrari 458 Spider, lavish trips and two solid gold Montblanc pens costing $37,500 each, among other things.
FCA, according to an indictment, made annual transfers to the training center of between $13 million and $31 million from 2009 to 2014. The training center is a tax-exempt corporation established in 1985 to provide education and training to workers.
Both Iacobelli and Morgan stood mute during separate arraignments earlier this month in Detroit. They each had not a guilty plea submitted on their behalf.
Jerome Durden -- the third person separately charged by federal officials -- pleaded guilty last week as part of a plea deal for his involvement in funneling the money to the Chrysler training center.
Durden pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, a felony, and one misdemeanor charge of failing to file a tax return for the approximately $4,000 he received in 2013 under the conspiracy. He is expected to cooperate with prosecutors as they build their case against the other alleged co-conspirators.
A jury trial for Iacobelli and Morgan is scheduled to begin Sept. 25 in Ann Arbor, Mich.