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.