|Wion Arrested in Repacorp Theft|
|Written by Nancy Bowman|
|Thursday, 21 June 2012 20:41|
Leaders of Repacorp are moving forward with daily business after the shock of learning earlier this month that the company’s controller since 2006 allegedly embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The allegations became public last week when Michael Wion, 40, of Piqua was arrested May 23 while walking his dog near his new home in Florida. He was charged with one felony of theft.
As of late last week, police said Wion was accused of stealing at least $466,000. A company official said he anticipates that number will increase to “considerably more.”
Charges against at least one other person, who also was employed at the company, are expected soon, according to company officials and Detective Sgt. Chris Graham of the Tipp City Police Department said.
“You wouldn’t think somebody you work with every day could be stealing you blind without you knowing it,” Tony Heinl, Repacorp president, said Friday. His brother, Rick Heinl, is company CEO and owner.
Wion, who was brought back to Ohio on Thursday, pleaded not guilty Friday during arraignment in Miami County Municipal Court. His bail was set at $25,000 cash or surety.
A surety bond was posted Friday afternoon and Wion was released from the county jail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 31.
Detective Graham said Wion was “the complete gatekeeper” for the company. He said company officials were “tipped off” by Wion’s abrupt departure from the company May 4.
Police reports said two company officials reported May 4 that Wion met the company information systems manager when he arrived for work to report that a company Paypal account for a side business had been hacked.
Officials said they became suspicious because of Wion’s “behavior about the incident” and that his last day was supposed to be May 8. Missing money subsequently was discovered during checks of the Paypal account and company bank accounts, officials reported.
When they attempted to contact Wion over the weekend of May 5 and 6, they found his cell phone had been disconnected, police were told. A neighbor later told police Wion and his wife had moved to Florida in an “abrupt fashion,” according to the report.
The report details subpoenas obtained for bank and Paypal account documents. Graham stated in a supplemental report that so far records indicated $245,045 missing from the Paypal account and another $195,759 from bank accounts reviewed as of mid-May.
Graham said the initial reviews went back two and one half years and more documents are being requested and reviewed.
Tony Heinl said company leaders did not know Wion before his hiring and conducted background checks as part of the hiring process. Wion does not have a criminal record.
The company is moving forward with its business and a planned expansion of the Industry Park Court building, Tony Heinl said. The company started in 1974 and has operations in Wisconsin and Arizona in addition to Tipp City. It manufactures stock, custom, RFID and digital labels.
“Financially, we are still doing very well,” Tony Heinl said.
The thefts caused a lot of turmoil within the company with the departure of employees in key financial positions and questions from other employee on how the theft might impact them, he said. A company meeting was held to provide information and reassure employees the company is fine financially. Repacorp employs about 70 people locally.
More safeguards are being put in place, and company leaders will be more vigilant, Tony Heinl said, urging others businesses to stop and make sure effective checks and balances are in place.
“We sure learned a hard lesson, that is for sure,” he said.
Graham said the investigation sends a message to those contemplating criminal behavior that the “police department values the (community’s) citizens and businesses.
“We’ll go to Florida and pick you up. Our businesses are important and we’ll protect you,” he added.