Alabama CEO charged with stealing $10million from the company – Daily News

Alabama CEO charged with stealing $10million from the company – Daily News


An Alabama CEO is accused of embezzling more than $10.2million from his company and spending it on high-end vehicles and personal expenses. Earlier this month, Steve Shickles, 40, resigned suddenly as CEO of Simple Helix, a Huntsville-based tech company, after he was confronted about a PayPal account he had been secretly operating in the company’s name for more than 11 years. Shickles was arrested Monday in his home after the company filed a lawsuit claiming the PayPal account took in $2.5million, of which $1.6million was transferred to Shickles’ and his wife Ronda’s, personal accounts. The lawsuit claims the couple, who have two children, spent the money almost exclusively on personal expenses, including dining at lavish restaurants, clothing, private school, hotels, spas and acquiring more than 20 high-end cars which were stashed in warehouses around town. Shickles was arrested Monday and released five hours later after being bailed out by his wife, who is also named as a defendant but not charged, for $30,000. Shickles has been criminally charged with first-degree theft, which carries a 20-year sentence. The lawsuit filed in Madison County alleges from 2012 to 2019, the couple spent more than $800,000 from the PayPal account in personal expenses and vehicles. It claims the money was spent items like groceries, entertainment services, gas stations, medical providers, massage parlors, nail salons, auto parts and more. A company audit revealed that from 2013-2017, Shickles was reimbursed more than $3million for payments he made on his personal credit cards. Court records show that Shickles refused to provide invoices for the charges after he was confronted about them. In the same five-year span, credits were entered into the company’s accounting software, which caused him to be overpaid by $3million, the lawsuit states. The lawsuit includes photos of the vehicles and items seized from the warehouses, showing Porches, BMWs, a Ford Expedition and Tiffin motor home and a vintage military style truck, along with car parts. In addition to the theft, the lawsuit says Shickles received loans and bought a vehicle in the company’s name. Three companies in all – Simply Helix, Deep Clue Holdings and Alpha Hosting – are suing the Shickles for at least $10,280,675 in damages. Deep Blue is the parent company of Simply Helix, which is the parent company of Alpha Hosting. The companies are asking the judge to immediately seize all the vehicles and any video equipment, guns and electronics that are believed to be stored there. Share this article Share The suit accuses Steve Shickles of international conversion, conspiracy to commit the intentional tort of conversion, fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duties, The complaint accuses Ronda Shickles of intentional conversion, conspiracy to commit the intentional tort of conversion, and conspiracy to commit fraud, but she has not been charged.

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