Con­victed FCA exec’s pen may go to auc­tion

The Detroit News - - Nation & World - BY ROBERT SNELL The Detroit News

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-


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