Service Container Co. controller embezzled nearly $600k

Kevin Weber to enter guilty plea

The former controller of Milwaukee-based Service Container Co. will plead guilty to embezzling nearly $600,000 from the company over a nearly three-year period.

According to a plea agreement filed in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Wisconsin, Kevin Weber used his position as controller to embezzle $592,006.53 using a variety of methods.

Those methods included $72,000 in unauthorized credit card purchases, $223,000 in debit card transactions, $288,800 in check payments, $3,100 in insurance premiums and a $4,000 unauthorized bonus.

Weber joined the company in 2008 as an accounting manager and eventually become controller.  He began to exercise “a significant amount of responsibility over the company’s finances” in May 2014, according to the plea agreement.

He started by using the company credit card to fund online and in-person gambling activities along with paying for personal expenses at stores and restaurants. He eventually requested a second card in his name. When the company did not have enough cash to pay off the credit cards he’d make minimum payments and hide records of the payment.

After maxing out the credit cards, Weber used a debit card tied to the company’s checking account that ownership did not know about. He also wrote himself checks from out-of-sequence checks to avoid detection.

When the company began having cash liquidity issues in the fall of 2016, Weber impersonated the company’s ownership to secure loans that avoided conventional financial institutions. The plea agreement says he secured nearly $264,000 in loans from four different companies, including $220,000 from OnDeck Capital Inc.

Money from the loans was used to pay the company’s bills, including payroll, but it was also misappropriated in some cases.

SCC’s assets were sold at auction in the summer of 2017 by Gerlach Auctions Inc., according to the company’s website.

Prosecutors and Weber’s attorneys are recommending an 18 month prison sentence, three years of supervised release and no fine. Weber has paid $100,000 in restitution and will be required to pay another $492,006.53.

An arraignment and guilty plea hearing has been set for Feb. 13.

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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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