Half-million earmarked for Livingstone College stolen

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

PITTSBURGH (AP) ó A Pittsburgh lawyer and minister has admitted stealing nearly a half-million dollars from a community leader’s estate that was supposed to go to Livingstone College.
William King Jr., 55, pleaded guilty Tuesday to theft by failure to make required disposition of funds in his handling of Charles Foggie’s $1.7 million estate. Foggie, who died in 2000, had bequeathed $500,000 to his alma mater, Livingstone College in Salisbury. But prosecutors say the school got only a fraction of that and that King wrote himself checks for thousands of dollars.
Foggie was a national African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church bishop and former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Pittsburgh chapter.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Wednesday that Livingstone had been promised $1 million ó later reduced to $500,000 ó in Foggie’s will. But King wrote thousands of dollars of checks to himself, his law firm and to a third party who later passed cash back to him.
Prosecutors allege King owes at least $468,724 to the estate. King faces a potential prison sentence of 25 to 50 months, but his lawyers are expected to argue for a lower sentence of nine to 18 months. King pled guilty more than eight years after he took control of the Foggie estate and nearly three years after he was charged.
“My father’s will and his wishes were robbed and nobody has the right to take that away,” Charlene Foggie Barnett, the late bishop’s daughter, told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
One of King’s lawyers called the plea appropriate.