Top official of Indiana County drilling firm charged in embezzlement scheme

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Larry Dean Winckler, former Chief Operating Officer of Falcon Drilling LLC, faces federal charges of conspiracy, mail fraud and filing false tax returns in relation to alleged embezzlement of nearly $10 million from the Indiana firm.

According to the charges filed today, Mr. Winckler, 53, of Indiana, diverted money from Falcon for "personal expenses, gambling, or uses entirely unrelated to any legitimate Falcon business expense."

Various front companies billed Falcon for "'bits' or other fictitious materials," according to the charges. The money was then laundered through a business called Universal Auto Service, prosecutors allege.

Other Falcon associates have also been prosecuted in relation to the alleged embezzlement.

Rich Lord: or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord.

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