Sep. 28—The former chief financial officer for a Rochester-based snack-foods company has been charged with four felonies after he allegedly spent more than $600,000 of company money on personal expenses between 2013 and 2019.
Thomas James Wiechmann, 55, of Austin, is charged in Olmsted County District Court with four felony counts of theft by swindle. He is scheduled to make his first appearance in court on Oct. 27.
Wiechmann, who was employed by Reichel Foods from April 1997 to March 2021, was the chief financial officer — the second ranking officer in the corporation. He was fired on March 18, 2021, after it was "discovered that he had been abusing his position of trust and violating his fiduciary duty by making hundreds of thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges on his corporate credit cards," the criminal complaint states.
Accounting staff at Reichel Foods looked through credit cards statements from 2013 through 2019 and complied a spreadsheet listing the unauthorized purchases, including charges for "entertainment, meals, a custom alarm service, and retail stores including, but not limited to Fleet Farm, Menards, Lowes, Sam's Club, Costco, HyVee, charges for hotels, airline tickets, and services such as credit reports."
Between 2013 and 2019, Wiechmann is alleged to have made $603,172.95 in unauthorized credit charges on at least two company-issued credit cards.
"Hardly a day went by without unauthorized credit card charges in Wiechmann's company credit cards," the complaint states.