Thursday, December 07, 2000

Charity embezzler may get 10-12 1/2 years in jail

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — A man who stole nearly $8 million from the American Cancer Society's Ohio chapter should spend 10 to 12 1/2 years in prison, according to the recommendation of a probation officer.

        U.S. District Judge Joseph Kinneary will sentence Daniel Wiant, 36, of Raymond, on Jan. 26.

        Both sides have filed objections with Judge Kinneary to probation officer Tina Ankrom's recommendation.

        The maximum sentence is 30 years.

        Ms. Ankrom based her report on several factors, including the amount of money taken and Mr. Wiant's criminal record. He was convicted previously of theft once in Ohio and twice in Hawaii.

        Mr. Wiant, hired six years ago by the agency, has admitted stealing $7.86 million over three years, including the transfer of $6.9 million to an Austrian bank in June.

        After being tipped off to the theft by Mr. Wiant's wife, Kathleen, the FBI froze the Austrian account.

        Mr. Wiant fled the country, but gave himself up after he learned the money was frozen. He was arrested June 9 when he returned to Columbus.

        He pleaded guilty Aug. 25 to bank fraud, money laundering, mail fraud and illegal use of a credit card.


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