The former head of the United Way spent hundreds of thousands of the charity’s dollars on his own lavish lifestyle and young girlfriends, federal prosecutors said Monday.
William Aramony and two former United Way of America associates stole more than $1 million to pay for chauffeur-driven gambling sprees and an elegant New York City apartment for Aramony’s 17-year-old girlfriend, Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Bellows said at the start of Aramony’s fraud trial.
“The simple truth of this case is how these three men at the pinnacle of their professions abused their positions of trust in order to enrich themselves,” Bellows said.
Aramony, 67, has pleaded innocent to a September indictment charging him with 53 felony counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. He faces up to about six years in prison if convicted.
He served 22 years as president of the organization that oversees about 2,800 United Way chapters nationwide.
Defense lawyer William Moffitt told the jury Aramony was a brilliant money-raiser who dedicated his life to the United Way.