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Wildwood CPA pleads guilty to stealing $100K from Volpi Foods on The Hill

Wildwood CPA pleads guilty to stealing $100K from Volpi Foods on The Hill


ST. LOUIS — The former senior controller of Volpi Foods in St. Louis' Hill neighborhood pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to stealing nearly $100,000 in company funds.

From March 2015 to April 2019, Paul Andrew Gniadek, 49, of Wildwood, stole the money in three ways, Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith said in court.

On five occasions he transferred money from the company bank account to his personal account, and used the money for personal expenses, Goldsmith said.

He also used company money on nine occasions to buy gift cards worth between $1,500 and $2,500, then used those gift cards himself, Goldsmith said.

Gniadek also used a company credit card for personal purchases 37 times, Goldsmith said. He concealed his theft by altering financial records, he said.

Gniadek spent about 20 years at the company, Goldsmith said, where he was responsible for all financial and accounting matters.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Gniadek could face 15 to 21 months in prison on the three counts of mail fraud, depending on a number of factors, and will have to repay the $98,555 that he took.

Gniadek "is remorseful for his actions and the pain they have caused," lawyer Marc Johnson wrote in a message to the Post-Dispatch. Johnson said Gniadek intended to pay back a "significant portion" of the money before sentencing.  

Volpi Foods has been in operation for more than 100 years and produces several varieties of cured meats.

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