AP NEWS

Union official pleads guilty to mail fraud, embezzlement

April 16, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines union official has pleaded guilty to mail fraud and embezzlement from his union.

Prosecutors said in a news release that 54-year-old Theodore Watson entered the pleas Monday in U.S. District Court in Des Moines. His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 23.

He was employed as business manager for Local 74 of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers.

Prosecutors say Watson defrauded United Way of Central Iowa by sending fraudulent requests for grant funds to train adults. In one instance, he received a $19,000 check from United Way that he used for himself.

Prosecutors also say Watson took cash advances and made unauthorized purchases on a union credit card and then submitted altered credit card statements and false monthly reports to the union.