A former Waterloo teacher has admitted to taking money from his union. Anthony Dehl pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud Tuesday in federal court in Cedar Rapids. Sentencing will be at a later date, and Dehl remains free in the meantime. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars and a fine of up to $250,000. Dehl, a 30-year teacher with Waterloo Community Schools who retired last year, had been treasurer for the Waterloo Education Association, the school employees’ bargaining unit.
As part of the plea, Dehl admitted he took more than $54,000 from the organization’s credit union accounts for gambling and other personal uses. He allegedly used the group’s debit card for his own purposes, made cash withdrawals and wire transfers and issued unauthorized checks.
Court records allege that between 2014 and 2019, Dehl made more than $49,000 in ATM withdrawals, many at the Isle Hotel Casino Waterloo. He also wrote $559 in unauthorized checks at restaurants and other businesses and cashed just over $5,900 in unauthorized checks to himself. He refunded about $1600 to the association before he was caught. Prosecutor say he covered his tracks by issuing false treasurer reports to the organization and state officials.
WEA officials discovered the scheme in January 2019 when Veridian Credit Union reported suspicious activity and froze the organization’s account.
When Dehl discovered the account’s status, he approached a director and said he made a mistake with the group’s money and had a gambling problem.