On May 22, 2012 at just after 7:00 PM the Tipp City Police Department along with deputies from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested 40 year old Michael J. Wion near his home in Venice, Florida. Wion was taken into custody without incident while walking his dogs inside the gated community of Stoneybrook. Mr. Wion is suspected of stealing approximately $466,000 from Repacorp located at 31 Industry Court in Tipp City, Ohio while employed as the company’s controller.
The investigation into the thefts at Repacorp is ongoing and other arrests are possible as we learn more. Sgt Detective Graham will be flying Mr Wion back to Miami County as early as Thursday, May 24th to face these charges.
According to authorities involved in the investigation, Mr. Wion served as the Comptroller/CFO for Repacorp and 3rd in the chain of command. They shared that the suspect was the “sole gatekeeper” of the finances for the Tipp City company that manufactures custom labels for a myriad of products and applications. Mr. Wion is believed to have used his access to the finances to transfer these large sums of money out of the Repacorp accounts and into his own.
Speaking to TippNews reporters, Sgt. Detective Chris Graham stated that this activity has been tracked back to 2010, however Mr. Wion had been acting in these financial duties and in that capacity dating back to 2007. Detective Graham spent most of yesterday on an 8 hour stakeout of Mr. Wion’s residence in Venice Florida located in a gated community.
While representatives of Repacorp were not immediately available to speak with this morning, it is our understanding that they may have been tipped off by the odd behavior and hasty departure of Mr. Wion to go work for Tempest Construction, a construction company in Florida where he would serve in an accounting capacity.
Mr. Wion, currently in custody in Florida may fight extradition to Ohio and has retained attorney Frank Patrizio of Piqua to represent him. If the judge in Florida approves the extradition order, Mr. Wion may return to Tipp City in the custody of the Tipp City Police Department as early as tomorrow.
The immediate charges that have been filed against the subject are 1 count of 3rd degree felony theft. Tipp City Police stress that the investigation is ongoing and that other arrests are possible.
The capture of this suspected fugitive from justice in Florida was a first for Detective Graham and when asked what residents should be left with he replied,”This is a good example of how the Tipp City Police Department, even though it is a small organization, will go to great lengths to protect its citizens and its businesses from criminal activity”.
We spoke with Tony Heinl from Repacorp today regarding the incident and he shared that Mr. Wion was employed by Repacorp for 6 years and had indeed earned a place of trust within the company. “You have to trust the people who work for you, and you have to have a high level of trust for those who manage company finances” shared Heinl.
When asked what surprised Heinl most about the situation he replied, “I mean.. how can a person sleep at night or walk around the office during the day, looking you straight in the eye knowing that they are ripping you off?”
Employees of Repacorp were informed that even though the suspected amounts stolen are large, Repacorp continues to be in very sound financial condition and that there will be no change to its current or future plans for growth.