Ex-controller at Cepia Charged with Embezzling $400,000

According to the St. Louis Business Journal, a former controller for Cepia, LLC, manufacturer of Zhu Zhu Pets robotic hamsters, was indicted for mail fraud for allegedly embezzling more than $400,000 from the company. Joseph Van Gronigen was indicted by a federal grand jury on two felony counts of mail fraud, the U.S. attorney’s office said Thursday.

According to the indictment, between September 2007 and January 2010, Van Gronigen allegedly embezzled more than $400,000 from Cepia for his own use and to pay his own expenses. He was employed by Cepia from 2005 to January 2010 and had been the company’s controller since 2008.

Cepia brought the situation to the attention of the FBI and attorney general’s office.

Are you ready for Kung Zhu?

At Toy Fair last week, I attended a press conference held by Cepia LLC regarding the next wave of Zhu Zhu Pets. It seems that Zhu Zhu Pets, the interactive, plush, artificially intelligent hamsters, have earned their black belts and will reveal their fast-as-lightning skills as Kung Zhu battle hamsters. These hamsters incorporate a level of action and excitement that appeals specifically to boys. The Kung Zhu clan joins the Zhu Zhu family in June. The Kung Zhu battle hamsters travel in packs and are part of teams. Four unique duos provide endless opportunities for epic battle play. In addition to these eight Kung Zhu Battle Hamsters, Kung Zhu battle gear, vehicles, and training arenas will be available. Kids can build, change and rearrange to make their own Kung Zhu battle arena where the hamsters square off wearing their unique armored suits. Kids can build further upon their Kung Zhu world with a headquarters, mission control, and training ground for the Special Forces team, and a training ground, snake pit, and dojo base for the Ninja Warriors. Other accessories including a combat bridge, y-turn, u-turn, hammer, missile attack tower, wheel of fire, and armored tanks to amp up the fight.
New lines Zhu Zhu Rock Stars and Zhu Zhu Pets Wild Bunch will also be available in June with a variety of accessories and habitats.

What do you think about Cepia’s main focus being on Zhu Zhu pets geared specifically to boys?

Kung Zhu Ninjas in Armor