Former CFO charged with embezzling millions

HAMILTON — A former Hamilton business executive has been arrested in Arizona in connection with an indictment accusing him of bilking the company out of $3 million, according to the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office.

Edward Cantrell, 36, formerly of Florence, Ky., was indicted months ago on 55 felony counts — including money laundering, theft and telecommunications fraud — for embezzling millions from Fin Pan Inc. and its subsidiary T Clear Corporation, 3255 Symmes Road, Inc., according to Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Dan Ferguson.

The alleged theft occurred over a five year period beginning in 2004. Cantrell served as the company’s chief financial officer.

Ferguson said Cantrell was presenting duplicate checks from suppliers for payment and depositing the cash in his personal accounts.

“As far as I know this is the largest embezzlement we have had in Butler County,” Ferguson said.

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Prosecutors ordered the indictment sealed until Cantrell was taken into custody. He was arrested late Thursday in Maricopa County, Ariz., where he was charged with one felony count of being a fugitive of justice, according to that county’s website.

“He as been on the lam,” Ferguson said, He said officials were able to track Cantrell to Arizona through his children’s school records.

T Clear attorney Dale Lierman said he was contacted by the city of Hamilton in 2008 about a company income tax return that had not been filed. Lierman said he began investigating and Cantrell’s crimes came to light.

“He was fired two days later,” he said.

Cantrell used the money largely to finance a lifestyle he could not afford, Lierman said. He and his wife drove cars, including an Escalade, worth more than his annual salary, he said.

T Clear, owned by Ted and Mary Lou Clear, will survive and prosper despite the theft, Lierman said.

“Mr. and Mrs. Clear are hard working, good people,” Lierman said.

The company specializes in the lamination of thin concretes to polystyrene and processes extremely high density foam for grade application, according to its website.

Cantrell will be extradited back to Butler County for trial. He was housed Friday night in the Maricopa County Jail.

Contact this reporter at (513) 820-2168 or lpack@coxohio.com.

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