A Platte City, Mo. man will be due in Platte County’s Division II Circuit Court to face charges that he defrauded Hull’s Lumber Do-It-Center in Weston, Mo. out of more than $150,000.
Daniel Vincent Wieser waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Monday, Jan. 6. The 33-year-old formerly worked in Hull’s financial department and stands accused of processing debit returns totaling $151,146.97 to his bank account and those of two associates in addition to shorting bank deposits to the tune of $12,577.75.
Five felony charges were originally filed on June 6, 2014 following a more than two-month investigation, and Wieser faces up to 67 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
According to a probable cause statement, George Hull reported to Weston’s chief of police on Jan. 27, 2014 to notify him of his business’ cash flow problems in recent months and suspicions that Wieser was responsible for using personal credit cards to make returns to himself without a corresponding purchase.
Originally, Hull said there were about $22,000 in fraudulent transactions, but WorldPay Financial Service — responsible for company transactions — was already investigating to help determine how far back and how much money was involved.
Later that morning, chief Terry L. Blanton waited outside of Hull’s office while he terminated Wieser’s employment. Wieser then said, “I can explain; I’ll have your money in a week.”
Hull later supplied an eight-page transaction inquiry from WorldPay that showed the $151,000-plus in irregular credit returns spread across four different card numbers. A month later, a subpoenas from the Platte County Prosecutor’s Office allowed investigators to access the card numbers used in the transactions.
Two of the cards were issued to Wieser, another was in the name of a female friend and roommate and the other belonged to her son.
More than $100,000 worth of the credit returns went directly to Wieser’s accounts. In a police interview with the roommate, she stated that Wieser came to her in October of 2013 and asked to use her bank account to make deposits. Her ex-husband, who still shared the bank account in question, asked about the large deposits from Hull’s Lumber, but Wieser insisted they were legitimate transactions.
About two weeks later, Wieser asked to use her son’s card for the same purpose.
Nearly $25,000 of credit returns went on the son’s card, while there were more than $5,000 on the mother’s. There were nearly 250 transactions that added up to the $150,000-plus total.
On Thursday, May 8, Wieser agreed to meet Weston police at the Platte County Sheriff’s Office. He requested a lawyer after being confronted with the evidence against him. Ten days later, Hull supplied written information showing that Wieser had been shorting cash deposits for nearly a year, totaling up to the more than $12,000 mentioned in the probable cause statement.
Wieser was later arrested and held on a $25,000 cash-only bond, which was later reduced to cash, surety or 10 percent of the total. He posted bail on June 10, 2014 and has made all required court appearances in person since that time.
The charges against Wieser include four Class D felonies — one for each card allegedly used in the criminal activity — for fraudulent use of credit/debit device. Each of these counts carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. He also faces a Class B felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison, for stealing more than $25,000.
No charges have been filed against the owners of the other two cards used in the scheme. Both said in interviews they believed Wieser’s transactions were legitimate.