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Founder and former CEO arrested at North Texas home for $20M wire fraud case

He allegedly used the $20 million to fund a lavish lifestyle, including a $16 million private Gulfstream jet and a $495,000 luxury suite at a local sports stadium.

WESTLAKE, Texas — The founder of Slync, a supply-chain management software startup, has been charged for misappropriating $20 million from the company, federal officials announced Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said Christopher Kirchner, 35, was charged via criminal complaint with wire fraud and arrested at his home in Westlake early Tuesday morning. He made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hal R. Ray, Jr. later in the day.

“This defendant flaunted his apparent wealth while allegedly diverting millions from company coffers into his private bank account,” U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton said. “Slync investors and employees are understandably outraged, and we sympathize. We look forward to holding Mr. Kirchner accountable in federal court.” 

“As the criminal complaint alleges, Mr. Kirchner used his position as a CEO to defraud investors and the company he worked for by diverting funds for his personal benefit. He did this to fund a lavish lifestyle at the expense of those that trusted him to act responsibly and ethically,” FBI Dallas Acting Special Agent in Charge James J. Dwyer said. “The FBI will remain persistent in our efforts to hold individuals accountable that commit such brazen acts of corporate greed.”

According to the complaint, Kirchner – who served as Slync’s CEO from 2017 until 2022, when he was suspended  by the Board of Directors due to allegations of misconduct – allegedly wired $20 million from Slync’s bank account to his personal checking account.

In text messages, Kirchner told an employee that he was transferring money received from an investor into “an investment account” and a “chase” account, the DOJ said in a release. He then instructed the employee to approve the wires. 

But Kirchner did not transfer money into an “investment account” or a “chase” account. He instead transferred $20 million of Slync funds into his personal account, according to the DOJ.

Meanwhile, in emails, Kirchner told private bankers that the $20 million represented “a distribution from my company.” Slync’s Board of Directors never authorized such a distribution.

Kirchner allegedly used the $20 million – which amounted to roughly 40% of $50 million raised from private equity investors and venture capital groups during the company’s Series B investment round – to fund a lavish lifestyle, including a $16 million private Gulfstream jet and a $495,000 luxury suite at a local sports stadium.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

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