Exec Accused of Embezzling Millions

Thursday, August 24th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Prosecutors say a former American Cancer Society executive accused of embezzling millions from the charity used some of it to pay for an addition to his home, 35 pear trees for his yard, and two all-terrain vehicles.

Court records also allege Daniel Wiant, 35, used more than $10,000 from the organization to rent an apartment for an ``unindicted conspirator'' whom prosecutors did not name Wednesday.

The case began in May when authorities accused Wiant of embezzling $6.9 million from the Cancer Society by secretly transferring it to a bank in Austria. Wiant fled to Europe but later surrendered, and the money eventually was returned.

Authorities say they now have determined that Wiant allegedly stole a total of about $7.9 million. Prosecutors said Wiant set up fake businesses he used to pay for personal expenses, like landscaping.

Wiant agreed to plead guilty to bank fraud, money laundering, mail fraud and illegal use of a credit card, according to his attorney, Victor Merullo.

Wiant is expected to appear in court on Friday.