Topic: Senate Democratic Campaign Committee
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December 3, 2013 at 3:52 PM
The former executive director of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee (SDCC) was sentenced this afternoon to 25 1/2 months for embezzling up to $330,000 in campaign contributions to fuel his alcohol and gambling habits.
Michael King was ordered to spend half of that time in prison, where he will be required to undergo treatment for alcohol and gambling addictions. The other half will be spent in community custody, the state’s version of parole. If he violates terms of his release he will be sent back to prison to serve out the rest of the sentence.
King must also pay $250,000 in restitution.
King, 32, pleaded guilty in October to four counts of first-degree theft and four counts of second-degree theft just one week after he was charged by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
King, who doesn’t have a previous criminal history, admitted to the thefts when he was interviewed by Seattle police on June 5, according to charging papers. He was able to swindle the campaign fund by requesting reimbursement for faked expenses, the charges say.
The charges indicate King began embezzling on March 28, 2011, weeks after he was hired as executive director of the statewide organization that was established to help Democratic incumbents and candidates win election to the state Senate. But the ongoing thefts weren’t uncovered until after the November 2012 election when King sought to be reimbursed for thousands of dollars he said had been paid to online polling and auto-dialing companies, the charges say.
With suspicions aroused, the SDCC board hired a law firm to conduct an investigation, which found King had been depositing campaign money into his own bank account, the charges say. The board members contacted police.
After King signed a release to allow detectives access to his bank records, they found he had made multiple withdrawals at area casinos, including Goldie’s in Shoreline, the Tulalip Casino in Marysville and the Silver Dollar Casino in SeaTac, according to charging documents.
October 3, 2013 at 9:53 AM
Michael King, the former executive director of the state Senate Democratic Campaign Committee (SDCC) who was charged with embezzling at least $250,000 in campaign donations to fuel his alcohol and gambling problems, pleaded guilty this morning to four counts of first-degree theft and four counts of second-degree theft.
King showed up in King County Superior Court for what was supposed to be his arraignment on eight counts of theft. In an unusual move, he pleaded guilty. The state will recommend he serve two years in prison and pay $250,000 in restitution.
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 22.
According to charges filed last month, King faked polling results and other expenses and wrote himself checks from the Democrats’ campaign account between 2011 and early 2013.
The thefts came to light in February, after the SDCC’s then-treasurer, Jason Bennett, noticed the suspicious expenses submitted by King. He informed the co-chairs of the committee, who hired a private law firm to investigate, and notified police.
King acknowledged the thefts during an interview with prosecutors. “I did these things and I have to accept consequences and I do,” he said, according to the charging papers.
Bank records examined by police revealed deposits to King’s personal accounts corresponding with “reimbursements” from the SDCC, and “many dozens” of withdrawals at Goldie’s Shoreline Casino in Shoreline, the Tulalip Casino in Marysville and the Silver Dollar Casino in SeaTac.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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