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Former executive accused of stealing $900K from his St. Louis company

Former executive accused of stealing $900K from his St. Louis company

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ST. LOUIS — The former director of finance for a St. Louis company embezzled more than $900,000 that was used for a home, a car and a boat, according to a recent federal indictment.

John J. Koeln, 36, worked for Unlimited Prepaid Distribution, the indictment said. The company is a wholesaler of prepaid phones, SIM cards and other mobile phone products.

Koeln's lawyer, Justin Gelfand, said Thursday that Koeln has pleaded not guilty and that they "look forward to litigating this case."

The indictment claims that on May 12, 2015, Koeln opened a bank account that only he controlled and then began transferring company funds into the account. He then transferred some money to his E-Trade brokerage account, took some out in cash, and used other money for a house and SUV in 2016 and a boat and trailer in 2017, the indictment said. The total loss to the company topped $900,000, the indictment said.

Koeln was hired in May 2014 and resigned on April 21, 2017, court documents show.

Koeln was arrested Dec. 16 and is facing five counts of wire fraud. Prosecutors also are trying to seize his lakefront property near Hillsboro.

In January 2018, a federal judge in St. Louis sentenced Belal Abdelnabi, a Chicago area salesman, to five years of probation and ordered him to repay $364,000 that he admitted stealing from Unlimited Prepaid Distribution.

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