QUEENS BOWLING LEAGUE TREASURER INDICTED FOR STEALING DUES AND PRIZE MONEY DURING COVID
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Robert Vickers has been indicted by a Queens County grand jury and arraigned in Supreme Court on charges of grand larceny and other crimes for allegedly stealing dues and prize money from members of a Queens County bowling league in 2020.
District Attorney Katz said, “As alleged, the defendant took advantage of not only his position in the league, but of a global pandemic to line his pockets with funds reserved for official league activities. The defendant has been apprehended and faces serious charges.”
Vickers, 59, of West 52nd Street in Manhattan, was arraigned yesterday before Queens County Supreme Court Justice Toni Cimino on a 21-count indictment charging him with nine counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree, eight counts of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, scheme to defraud in the first degree and two counts of petit larceny. Justice Cimino ordered the defendants to return to Court on December 13, 2022. Vickers faces up to 4 years in prison, if convicted.
According to court records, during the 2019-2020 bowling season, Vickers was the treasurer and secretary of the “Ted Guy Memorial” League that bowls at JIB Lanes on Parsons Boulevard in Flushing, Queens. As such, he was responsible for collecting weekly dues from the 120-member League for a prize fund and bowling expenses. Vickers was expected to deposit the dues into a bank account in the League’s name, and, based on League standings at the close of the season, to disperse the prize monies to members.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the 2019-20 bowling season to prematurely end on March 11, 2020, team captains voted to pay out prize monies based on the team and individual standings for the first half of the season, and to return dues that had been paid in advance of the unplayed games. Since that vote, team captains reported that Vickers had failed to pay out their team members, and Vickers claimed his account was frozen.
Records indicate that Vickers used league funds to make expensive purchases and gamble funds at casinos in NYC and Atlantic City.
Following an investigation and a grand jury indictment, the defendant was arrested yesterday morning in his home in Manhattan.
The investigation was conducted by Investigator Anthony Piacquadio, under the supervision of Senior Investigator John Bode, Lieutenant Erik Rudolph and Captain Lucas Shuta of the New York State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigations.
Investigative Accountant Faye Johnson, of the District Attorney’s Office, assisted in the investigation, under the supervision of Joseph Plonski, Director of the Forensic Accounting Unit.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Ayelet Sela, of the District Attorney’s Frauds Bureau, is prosecuting the case, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Joseph T. Conley III and Deputy Bureau Chief Hana Kim, under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Gerard Brave.
**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.