Former Service Container Co. controller gets 2 years for embezzlement

Kevin Weber took nearly $600K from company

A federal judge this week sentenced Kevin Weber, the former controller of Service Container Co., to 24 months in prison for embezzling nearly $600,000 from the company.

Prosecutors charged Weber in January in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Wisconsin with one count of fraud. He also reached a plea agreement at that time and entered a guilty plea in February.

According to court documents, Weber used his position to embezzle $592,006.53 through unauthorized credit card purchases, debit card transactions, check payments, insurance premiums and an unauthorized bonus.

Weber used company credit cards for online and in-person gambling and personal expenses at stores and restaurants. To hide his activities, he wrote out-of-sequence checks and impersonated company owner Bob Hamilton to secure loans to pay off the debts.

Prosecutors and Weber’s attorneys agreed to recommend an 18-month sentence, but Judge Pamela Pepper opted to add an additional six months. Federal sentencing guidelines called for a 34- to 41-month sentence.

Weber is also required to pay the full amount in restitution and has already made a $100,000 payment.

Ahead of the sentencing, Jonathan Lavoy, Weber’s attorney, argued his client had been “open, honest and contrite” during the investigation.

“He recognizes that he betrayed the trust of his employer and took advantage of the system that was in place,” Lavoy wrote. “He understands that he had a good career and he wishes daily he could go back in time and make better decisions.”

Zachary Corey, an assistant U.S. attorney, noted in his sentencing memo that Weber had taken responsibility for his actions, but also wrote that “Kevin Weber single-handedly destroyed an admirable, family-run business.”

Service Container’s assets were auctioned off last summer.

“Embezzling $592,000 from Service Container has a much larger victim impact than embezzling $592,000 from a large company,” Corey wrote. “The effects of Mr. Weber’s actions were felt most by the Hamilton family—especially Bob and Molly—but they were also felt by other employees (who lost their jobs) and vendors who no longer had a reliable trade partner.”

Corey noted Service Container, which made custom, corrugated shipping cartons, was located in Milwaukee’s central city to be close to its employees’ homes.

“This company, which provided a lot of good to the community, no longer exists because of Mr. Weber’s actions,” Corey wrote.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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