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Sueppel indicted by a federal grand jury in February


Sueppel indicted by a federal grand jury in February

Iowa City Steven Sueppel, who police are seeking in connection to a death investigation at his home, was recently charged with stealing nearly $560,000 from his former employer.

Sueppel was indicted by a federal grand jury in February and charged with one count of embezzlment and six counts of money laundering. He was accused of stealing $559,040 from Hills Bank & Trust, where he was vice president and controller.

The embezzlement charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in jail and a $1 million fine. Each money laundering charge is punishable by up to 20 years in jail and a $500,000 fine or twice the value of the funds allegedly stolen.

The government also is seeking the forfeiture of the $559,040 Sueppel is accused of stealing.

Three search warrants executed by the Johnson County Sheriff's Office revealed that Hills Bank officials reported on Oct. 4 that they had noticed discrepancies in one of the asset accounts Sueppel managed.

A document used to apply for one of the search warrants says Sueppel admitted to bank officials to stealing more than $219,000 over three years and using most of it to buy cocaine. However, he was not charged with anything drug-related and no illegal drugs were found at his home when the search warrant was executed Oct. 4.

Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek has said there is no evidence Sueppel spent any money on drugs. Sueppel's attorney, Leon Spies of Iowa City, has said drugs have nothing to do with the case.

Spies declined to comment Monday morning, saying he was still gathering information.

At his arraignment last month in U.S. District Court, Sueppel was released on $250,000 personal bond, which he would pay only if he violated terms set for his release. The judge noted that Sueppel didn't have a criminal history and government officials didn’t consider him a flight risk.

The judge forbid Sueppel from possessing any firearms, narcotics, controlled substances or drugs without a prescription.

Sueppel told the judge he had started working at Superior Concrete in Iowa City. A man who answered the phone at Superior Concrete Monday morning said they would have no comment.

Sueppel’s trial was scheduled to begin April 21.

2004 Mar 24