A criminal investigation into King was opened after an NBC 7 investigation revealed children profiled by the charity never received the donations they were promised. And as such, she has now been sentenced to a year behind bars and five years of probation.
The prosecutor said King would solicit items and gift cards from stores as donations to auction off at fundraisers, but she would instead use them herself. One example discussed in court involved King changing her name to Brie Cummings and using spa gift cards for a facial.
He said she used the charity’s bank account as if it were her own.
Her attorney, Angelica Simmons, asked for leniency in her sentencing because King is attending counseling, is enrolled in money management and theft prevention classes and, according to her doctor, her pregnancy is considered high-risk.
The judge sentenced King to a year behind bars with one day already served for when she was arrested in July. Her term in custody will begin April 11, 2016 and is being delayed until after her baby is born in March.
King was also ordered to continue making restitution payments for what she stole from the charity. She has already paid $10,000 but still owes more than $8,000, according to prosecutors. The judge ordered King to make payments of at least $100 a month.
In court Simmons said Kings actions have impacted the charity more than just financially. The negative publicity has given WishWarriors a black eye in the charity community. According to her, local businesses do not want to work with them. She said right now, the charity is not able to function as it was set up to and will have to find another way to help children battling cancer.