Ex-office manager, husband accused of stealing $600,000 from trucking company

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Ex-office manager, husband accused of stealing $600,000 from trucking company

Coogle Trucking owner filed civil suit against couple in September

Clarissa Hawes

·Friday, December 16, 2022

 Ex-officer manager Toni Walter and her husband, Don Walter, both of Attica, Indiana, have been charged with stealing over $600,000 from an Indiana trucking company. (Photo Credits: Bill Oxford/Unsplash and Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

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An Indiana trucking company owner claims his office manager of over 20 years — along with her husband — stole more than $600,000 from his affiliated companies over a five-year period. 

Toni Walter, 56, and her husband, 57-year-old Donald Walter, both of Attica, Indiana, were arrested last week following a five-month investigation by the Indiana State Police.

The probable cause affidavit states that Toni Walter was a longtime employee of Coogle Trucking and worked as the office manager and accountant for Larry Coogle’s other businesses, Coogle Truck and Trailer Sales, Larry Coogle DBA L&C, and C&C Excavating, which are referred to as Coogle Enterprises in court documents.

Toni Walter is charged with corrupt business influence, two counts of money laundering, five counts of theft — all level 5 felony counts — as well as level 6 felony counts of theft and counterfeiting.

Donald Walter Jr. is charged with corrupt business influence, two counts of money laundering, five counts of aiding, inducing or causing theft — all level 5 felony counts — as well as level 6 felony counts of aiding, inducing or causing theft and money laundering.

According to Coogle, Toni Walter “was the only employee that handled finances for the business,” the probable cause affidavit states, until she quit in August. Coogle said he never employed Don Walter.

Courtney Barber, a deputy clerk with the Benton County Circuit Court in Fowler, Indiana, told FreightWaves the Walters were released from the Benton County Jail on Saturday, a day after their arrests, on a $20,000 cash bond each. She said the couple used a bail bondsman for the remaining $20,000 surety bonds the court ordered each of them to pay as part of the terms of their conditional release.

Barber said it’s unknown at this time if the Walters have retained counsel in the criminal case.

Over a six-year period, from 2015-2021, “Toni [Walter] had reported approximately $314,089 in W-2 earnings from a Coogle enterprise,” the probable cause affidavit states. “During the same time frame, there was approximately $951,447.83 paid to either Toni or Don Walter. This equates to approximately $637,358.83 overpaid during this period.”

Although the ISP investigation dates back to 2015, it wasn’t until 2017 that significant discrepancies in the Walters’ alleged inflated income were found.

“I give credit to the detectives in the Indiana State Police for doing a great job,” Sgt. Jeremy Piers, public information officer with the Indiana State Police, told FreightWaves. “There’s a lot to look into and they went through a bunch of paperwork, including several years of finances.”

He said detectives were assisted by troopers from the ISP Lafayette Post, as well as the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Williamsport Police Department, Tippecanoe County High Tech Crimes Unit and the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office.

Walters’ pricey home aroused company owner’s suspicions

Three months prior to criminal charges being filed against the Walters in Benton County Circuit Court, Coogle filed a civil suit against the couple in Warren County Circuit Court in Williamsport, Indiana. 

According to court documents, Coogle stated that over the course of the past year, he “made observations that led [him] to believe the Walters were living beyond their financial means.”

In 2021, Coogle sold a 

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