Thursday, April 18, 2013

Indiana Man Charged With Embezzling Nearly $400K

From The Tippecanoe Gazette on 4/17/13:

Tipp Man Charged With Embezzlement

Written by Nancy Bowman
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
A Tipp City man was accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from his West Milton employer in criminal and civil cases filed Friday in Miami County courts.

Stephen T. Smith, 48, of Burnside Drive was arrested on felony charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, theft and telecommunications fraud for alleged embezzlement from Long & Associates Inc. of West Milton. Smith was an accountant at the business from 2006 through 2012, according to a report by Chief Garry Kimpel of the West Milton Police Department.

Smith was jailed, and then arraigned Monday in county Municipal Court. He was released on his own recognizance, and ordered to surrender his passport to the court.

West Milton police allege Smith between March 2010 and December 2012 made 220 fraudulent wire transfers and bank fraud transactions to obtain $349,629 from client accounts and stole an additional $40,000 cash for a total of $389,629.

The money allegedly was invested in a Troy business and to buy the Burnside Drive property. Kimpel wrote that Smith “with a business partner whose culpability is unknown at this time” established the Troy business.

Business records seized with search warrants will be reviewed and the amount of theft could be revised higher, Kimpel said.

The company’s lawyers also sued Smith Friday in a filing in Common Pleas Court.
Company officials stated in the civil complaint that Smith was responsible for the receipt, accounting and deposit of client money before he resigned Nov. 12. After the resignation, the company said it discovered “a widespread and ongoing embezzlement of corporate and client funds. “
The suit alleges Smith took a number of steps to hide his actions such as material misrepresentations and omissions regarding corporate and client accounting.”

Also named in the lawsuit is Robert T. Dixon, also of Burnside Drive, Tipp City. The suit claims “Long & Associates Inc. has reason to believe that (Dixon) had aided and abetted … Smith in the distribution and investment of embezzled funds.” Criminal charges have not been filed against Dixon.

In the lawsuit Smith is accused of breach of fiduciary duties, fraud, criminal acts, conversion of property and unjust enrichment. He also is accused along with Dixon of civil conspiracy, unjust enrichment and wanton conduct.

The lawsuit seeks a judgment of more than $25,000 along with an order for Dixon and Smith to submit a full accounting of all assets, liabilities, expenses and checking account ledgers for the past five years.

A restraining order also is sought preventing Smith and Dixon from transferring or concealing assets and a court order finding the men’s alleged actions constituted fraud.

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