For five years, the district council president of a Milwaukee union used union funds to support her gambling problem. She would simply take money out of a fund called "Operation Big Vote" and then put it into her personal bank account.
This type of crime is considered a white collar crime. Because of her position in the union, the woman was responsible for all the funds that were going towards "Operation Big Vote". Most of the funds were from the national union organization.
Though she was able to take the funds for five years, her crime was eventually discovered after the bank noticed that she had been taking out large amounts of money from the union fund and then just depositing it directly into her own account.
It's unclear why she turned herself in, but a few days after being confronted by the bank, the woman told the union's director that she had taken the funds. After that, she turned herself in to the authorities.
As a result, she faced a charge of embezzlement and pleaded guilty. Just recently she was sentenced to three years probation, a sentence much lower than the guidelines set forth. The judge decided to give a lesser sentence because the woman did not have prior convictions and a long prison sentence would not have done any good to rehabilitate her.
Additionally, probation will allow the woman to continue getting her life back where she wants it to be. According to her attorney, she has been standing up in front of people and sharing her story about gambling addiction. She also had begun repaying the money she took, even before her sentencing.
Source: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel online, "Union embezzler sentenced to 3 years' probation," John Diedrich, 19 December 2010