Robert Wickboldt III: A Criminal? (2024)

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Robert Wickboldt III, who oversees investment strategy at Essex Investments in the finance industry, is under scrutiny for allegedly cashing significant bounced checks.

Accusations Against Robert Wickboldt III: Bouncing Large Checks

At the Houston Zoo’s February Gala, a man named Robert Wickboldt III, who was unfamiliar to attendees, caused a stir by bidding on numerous items in the silent auction.

Despite his appearance in a black T-shirt and gray sport coat, he successfully bid on items like a sea lion-created painting and photo opportunities with animals, ultimately writing two checks totaling $5,000.

Wickboldt, aged 37, had received an invitation to the $100-per-ticket event after donating $50,000 to the zoo the day before. However, a few days later, the bank revealed that his checks were worthless. Accused of forgery, Wickboldt is now being sought by authorities. The zoo’s management has chosen not to comment on the situation.

It remains unclear why Wickboldt, a convicted felon, would attempt to befriend Houston’s elite, especially since he seemingly gained nothing from writing a substantial check to the charity.

Wickboldt’s father expressed bewilderment, suggesting that his son might just want to be part of a crowd, cautioning that attempting to forge a $50,000 check is likely to lead to getting caught.

Son Steals Dad’s Identity

Description: Robert Wickboldt, a resident of West Virginia, revealed that his son had a history of stealing and had taken over $25,000 using his identity. Wickboldt expressed shock and sadness, stating that his son’s actions had torn their family apart.

Since he was 20 years old, Wickboldt’s son has been in and out of jail for various crimes including theft, forgery, and auto theft. One notable incident occurred when he tried to use a fake American Express Black card in Houston at the age of 22, with the name of media mogul Rupert Murdoch on it. It seems that the people he encountered didn’t believe he was the CEO of NewsCorp.

In 2006, a member of a Houston club reported his wallet and Rolex stolen from his locker. Shortly after, it was discovered that Wickboldt’s son had used the stolen credit card at a department store downtown, purchasing cologne and cosmetics worth $240.

These incidents were not isolated, as a similar theft had occurred in 2001. Wickboldt’s son was found guilty in both cases.

Recently Paroled

Robert Wickboldt III, who was arrested in 2007 after evading police in a stolen car, was deemed mentally incompetent while awaiting trial. After five months of regaining competency, he entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to 10 years in jail. Recently, he was granted parole after his sentence was reduced.

Robert Wickboldt III Accused of Donating $50,000 with Fake Checks to Houston Zoo

A 35-year-old man named Robert Wickboldt III faces charges of forgery after allegedly donating $50,000 to the Houston Zoo using counterfeit checks. The zoo director reported that Wickboldt offered her a $50,000 check on February 3 and attended a gala for donors. He also wrote two more checks totaling over $5,000 during the event.

Upon discovering that all three checks were fraudulent, the zoo director contacted the authorities. A bank representative confirmed that the checks were fake, with incorrect account and routing numbers.

Wickboldt was identified from a photo lineup by the zoo director and is now facing a $100,000 bail.


In Houston, Texas, Robert Wickboldt III allegedly provided the Houston Zoo with three checks totaling over $55,000. However, upon attempting to deposit the funds, the zoo discovered that the accounts linked to the checks did not exist. Wickboldt now faces forgery charges.

He initially offered to donate $50,000 over the phone, then presented a check during a meeting. Later, at a gala, he used two more checks to pay for auction items. While the exact motive remains unclear, this incident underscores the importance of waiting for checks to clear before spending the funds. – Ruth McCambridge

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