Friday, June 16, 2000

Embezzlement may have started earlier

Cancer Society waits for final audit

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — A man accused of secretly wiring nearly $7 million in funds from the American Cancer Society of Ohio may have embezzled at least $100,000 more from the agency, newspapers reported Thursday.

        Federal authorities are scouring the agency's financial records to determine how much money Daniel Wiant allegedly stole before he wired $6.9 million from an account to a bank in Austria on May 30, the Columbus Dispatch and the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Thursday.

        Mr. Wiant is suspected of embezzling at least $100,000 before he allegedly transferred the larger amount, the newspapers reported, citing unidentified sources. The Plain Dealer said that the first total could be up to $500,000.

        Cancer Society officials said there is no confirmation from an auditor that any money other than the $6.9 million is missing.

        “There has been no report created by Price Waterhouse yet,” said spokesman Harvey Schwartz. “We're waiting for them to release their audit, and they haven't said any other money is missing.”

        In a hearing Wednesday in U.S. District Court, Mr. Wiant, 35, waived his right to hearings and was returned to the Franklin County Jail. The waivers mean Mr. Wiant will not require the government to establish probable cause that he embezzled the $6.9 million and that he will not seek to be released on bond.

        If convicted of bank fraud, Mr. Wiant faces a prison term of up to 30 years and a $1 million fine.


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