Monday, December 11, 2000

Embezzler's possessions sold

The Associated Press

        RAYMOND, Ohio — The home, land and other possessions of a man convicted of embezzling more than $7 million from the American Cancer Society was sold at auction so he could pay back some of what he stole.

        On Saturday, auctioneers accepted a $170,000 bid for Daniel Wiant's two-story house and 10 acres in Union County. They accepted a $79,679 bid for another 66.3 acres of land Mr. Wiant owns near this town about 40 miles northwest of Columbus.

        Mr. Wiant, who had been chief administrative officer for the society's Ohio division, admitted stealing $7.86 million over three years, including $6.9 million he transferred to an Austrian bank.

        The FBI recovered the transferred money and tracked down another $600,000 he allegedly stole, but the auction was held because Mr. Wiant wanted to help make restitution on the rest, said Larry McClatchey, an attorney for the American Cancer Society.

        Mr. Wiant's wife, Kathleen, who tipped off the FBI about the theft, witnessed the auction but declined to answer questions.

        Miscellaneous items including a diamond-encrusted gold ring, riding and power mowers, boxes of tools, exercise equipment, a trampoline, computer software and Halloween decorations also were sold.

        Mr. Wiant, 36, was arrested June 9 after returning to Columbus. He fled to Europe but returned when he learned the money in the Austrian bank account was frozen.



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