Former CEO of Kansas City company pleads guilty to embezzlement

04/24/2014 8:11 PM

04/24/2014 8:11 PM

A former chief executive officer of a Kansas City retail distribution company has pleaded guilty in federal court to embezzling up to $338,221 from the business over nine years.

James Kilkenny pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple. Kilkenny was chief executive and chief financial officer of Waechtersbach USA when he was let go in April 2012.

Waechtersbach, at 4201 N.E. 34th St., is a distributor and vendor that buys products from German and Asian companies to distribute to U.S. retailers. The company’s parent firm is based in Germany.

Kilkenny joined Waechtersbach in 1998. He admitted to a nine-year-long plan of embezzling, starting in 2003, said a news release Thursday from the U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of Missouri.

Kilkenny admitted to overpaying himself $133,592. Among other things, he also admitted to using company funds to pay back loans he had taken against his 401(k) retirement account.

Kilkenny admitted the loss was at least $208,762, but the government believes the total is $338,221. Kilkenny agreed to forfeit at least $208,825 and up to $400,000, depending on the loss determined by the court.

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