Monday, February 22, 2010

Former Benefits Manager For New York Union Charged With Embezzling $42 Million

Melissa G. King, 58, of Irvington, New York, has been arrested and charged with embezzling at least $42 million from the Sandhogs’ Union Local 147 in New York City where she had been employed as employee benefits fund administrator. Specifically, King has been charged with one count of theft and embezzlement in connection with employee benefit plans, and 11 counts of money laundering. King's scheme reportedly lasted for six years, between 2002 and 2008. King's alleged thefts reportedly went to pay for numerous luxury items and personal expenses, including: $7 million paid to American Express; $5 million to pay for horses and horse-related expenses; $500,000 paid to Neiman Marcus, primarily for women’s clothes; nearly $1 million to Lugano Diamonds in Newport Beach, California, for jewelry and watches; over $150,000 to the Ritz Carlton in Palm Beach; over $9000 to pay the mortgage on her Irvington home; hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for three housekeepers, a tutor for her children, and payments to her parents and others; nearly $100,000 for approximately 13 hours of flight time on a private jet; over $300,000 to purchase a 2005 Porsche Cayenne, a 2008 Mercedes-Benz S Class, a 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK, and a 2008 Range Rover; and over $11 million to other bank accounts held by her benefits management company, King Care, LLC. King was removed from her position in December 2008 and a civil suit was filed against her in June 2009. Her arrest was made on November 30, 2009. Until recently, the case has not received much media attention. King faces up to 115 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Read the story here, here, here, here and here.
Read the indictment here.

Wow. I didn't think it was possible to beat the Koss embezzlement, but this one does.

Update (6/21/12): King, now 61, pleaded guilty last year to filing false tax returns and admitting she embezzled about $7 million, was sentenced to just 6 years in prison. 

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