Federal prosecutors argue that former United Auto Workers vice president Joe Ashton should serve nearly three years in prison.

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The recommendation, reported by The Detroit News, comes after Ashton pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The charges followed an investigation of alleged corruption among the union and auto industry. Ashton, also a former GM board member, is accused of getting at least $250,000 in kickbacks from a contractor who made watches for union members. The 58,000 watches were never given out.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %GMGENERAL MOTORS COMPANY42.13+0.94+2.28%TD Ameritrade Stock Table

"He had the power, prestige, and influence that came with being a high-ranking UAW official. But that was not enough," Assistant U.S. Attorney Frances Carlson said a sentencing memorandum, according to the News. "Motivated by greed, Ashton corruptly used his power and influence to illegally and unethically benefit himself."

FORMER UNITED AUTO WORKERS PRESIDENT DENNIS WILLIAMS PLEADS GUILTY TO EMBEZZLING FUNDS

The federal investigation yielded charges against a dozen other individuals before charges were filed against Ashton in Michigan federal court.

Ashton's defense counsel, Jerome Ballarotto, will likely submit a sentencing memo of his own with a lower recommendation.

Joe Ashton, vice president of the United Auto Workers General Motors department, speaks during an event at GM’s assembly plant Flint, Michigan, July 18, 2011. Photographer: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former United Auto Workers president Dennis Williams pleaded guilty in September to embezzling union funds. This came nearly four months after his successor, Gary Jones, pleaded guilty in June to a more than $1 million scheme to steal money from union workers.

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FOX Business' Lucas Manfredi and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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