- Thomas Wiechmann, former CFO of Rochester, Minn.-based Reichel Foods, faces multiple charges after the district court accused him of spending over $600,000 on unauthorized purchases with corporate credit cards.
- Between 2013 and 2019, Wiechmann charged a total of $603,172.96 to company credit cards and kept the reward points for the purchases, the state alleged in its complaint, filed Monday.
- Wiechmann led finance at the food producer, which specializes in grab-and-go items, for 24 years. He was “discharged for cause” in March 2021, when the company discovered he’d been “abusing his position of trust” and “violating his fiduciary duty” by making the unauthorized charges and obtaining other financial benefits from the company “to which he was not entitled.”
Reichel Foods, maker of Dippin'Stix and other convenience food products, authorized Wiechmann, who was No. 2, to use company cards for various corporate expenses, with the acknowledgement that resultant reward points belonged to the company.
In March, CEO Craig Reichel discovered Wiechmann had been using the cards for personal purchases through investigating email documentation and credit statements. The company’s accounting staff independently studied the bills.
"There were hundreds of charges for entertainment, meals, a custom alarm service, and retail stores … charges for hotels, airline tickets, and services such as credit reports,” the eight-page court complaint, obtained by ABC News, said. “Hardly a day went by [between 2013 and 2019] without unauthorized credit card charges in Wiechmann's company credit cards."
The Minnesota District Court has charged Wiechmann with four felony counts of theft by swindle; he is scheduled to make his first court appearance next month. His crimes carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, a $100,000 fine, or both.
Theft by swindle is a unique charge that specifies the situation in which a perpetrator “uses a position of trust or authority to delay the discovery of theft,” the court said.