Thursday, March 25, 2010

The PetsitUSA Blog

The PetsitUSA Blog

Evanger’s Pet Food Company accused of stealing utilities

Posted: 24 Mar 2010 12:56 PM PDT

Boy, oh boy. If it isn’t one thing it’s another where pet food companies are concerned, it’s another. Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Company is in the news again, and this time it’s not because of lousy dog or cat food. It’s because the owners, Joel and Holly Sher, have been charged with stealing utilities.

A north suburban couple who own a high-end pet food company were charged Wednesday with stealing nearly $2 million worth of gas and electricity to operate the company and its manufacturing plant.

Joel Sher, 54, and his wife Holly Sher, 52, of Lincolnwood, are charged with felony theft and money laundering for allegedly providing free utilities to their company, Evanger's Dog & Cat Food, according to a release from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

State's attorney’s office investigators seized $2.3 million from a Chicago bank account belonging to the Shers as part of an ongoing money laundering investigation, the release said.

Evanger's is, located in Wheeling, produces "Super Premium" dog and cat food for the private label market, according to the company Web site. It offers the services of "formula specialists" who offer pet owners ustom recipes for their particular pet. The company, which even produces a line of kosher pet products, was featured on an episode of the Rachel Ray show in March 2008.

According to prosecutors, since becoming customers of Nicor Gas in 2003, there have been several reports of unusual activity relating to an illegal gas hookup at the company. The reports ranged from tips provided by employees to the discovery of an illegal hookup by Wheeling police and firefighters responding to a gas leak at the factory, the release said.

In 2009, the state’s attorney’s office uncovered evidence that employees had been directed by the Shers not to allow Nicor officials on the premises to read gas meters, the release said. Joel Sher allegedly ordered employees to use jackhammers to dig through concrete and asphalt to divert gas lines and even supplied them with a tool to help roll back meters.

See for more of Pet Food Company Owners Charged In Utility Theft Scheme.

It’s bad enough that they stole utilities, but they also had their employees risk their lives to do it! It seems to me that a company that doesn’t respect their own employees sure as heck doesn’t respect pets. To me, that’s a scary thought. What do you think?

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