Convicted FCA exec’s pen may go to auction
Detroit — A rare, $36,000 jewel-encrusted fountain pen that served as the defining symbol of a multimillion dollar corruption scandal involving the United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler could soon hit the auction block.
The Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit Thursday to have the pen forfeited to the government, arguing that convicted Fiat Chrysler executive Alphons Iacobelli purchased two of the Montblanc pens with almost $76,000 embezzled from the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center.
The filing filled in the investigative backstory about how Iacobelli obtained the pens and confirm that Iacobelli kept one and gave the other to a neighbor.
Feds seized the neighbor’s pen last year and now prosecutors want the blingy bauble forfeited to the government.
Iacobelli was not shy about letting people know about the pens.
A former co-worker said “Iacobelli bragged to her about a Montblanc pen that he carried in his shirt pocket costing $25,000,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Adriana Dydell wrote in the filing Thursday.
If the government succeeds in having the pen forfeited, the collector’s item could be auctioned to the highest bidder or sold privately.
The government filed the request to have the pen forfeited two weeks after Iacobelli, 59, of Rochester Hills, was sentenced to 5 1⁄2 years in federal prison for his role in the scandal.
Iacobelli’s lawyer comment.
The government filing confirms details first reported by The News last year in the early days of a prosecution that has led to seven convictions, reshaped the top ranks of the auto industry as FBI agents investigate all three Detroit automakers, and raised questions about the conduct of the late Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.
The Montblanc “Signatures for Freedom” pen was sold in 2013 as part of a limited series honoring President Abraham Lincoln and cost $35,700 each — or $7,600 more than the median household income in Detroit.
The pen celebrating the life of “Honest Abe” was one in a series of Montblanc pens honoring presidents, including George Washington and John F. Kennedy.
The black pen features solid, 18-karat gold fittings, a blue sapphire embedded in the clip, a mother-of-pearl cap ringed by three diamonds and an 18-karat gold tip engraved with 13 stars.
The pens are so rare, only 50 were available worldwide.
According to federal prosecu-