Robert D. King, Jr., admitted Dec. 11 that a gambling habit led him to embezzle $130,507 from the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers Local 86 in Columbus, Ohio. Specifically, he embezzled $88,757 from the local and $41,750 from local’s employee benefit funds. During his arraignment before U.S. Dist. Judge George C. Smith (S.D. Ohio, Reagan), King pled guilty to 2 embezzlement-related charges. King stole the money from Aug. 1999 to Jan. 2001 by writing himself checks from Local 86’s general and apprentice-training funds. King told the Columbus Dispatch, “I got hooked on gambling and got in over my head. I got deeper and deeper.” He bet at casinos on the Ohio River and in Las Vegas and placed sports bets with bookmakers.
King served as the local’s business manager and financial secretary for 6 years until the int’l removed him in Jan. 2001. Local 86 officers became suspicious of King because his sloppy record-keeping. The int’l union audited the local’s books and confronted King with numerous discrepancies. King admitted stealing the funds, and the case was turned over to the Dep’t of Labor. [Columbus Dispatch 12/12/01]