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Exec accused of $300,000 copper scrap theft

Keywords: Tags  KenMor Electric, Heico, Fred Eugene Kuhn, copper theft, Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — The former vice president of a Houston electrical contracting firm has been accused of stealing more than $300,000 in copper scrap from the company.

Fred Eugene Kuhn, 56, was arrested for allegedly engaging in an overordering scheme while employed at Houston-based KenMor Electric Co. LP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago-based Heico Cos. LLC, according to Sgt. Michael McGinty of the Houston Police Department’s Metal Theft division.

Starting in January 2012, Kuhn began shipping loads of copper scrap to a recycling facility about an hour outside of Houston, according to McGinty. Kuhn, who identified himself as an employee of KenMor, allegedly told the facility that the copper was being generated at a job site operated by KenMor. Over the course of the next year, Kuhn allegedly received more than $300,000 in cash payments from the scrapyard.

"(Heico) contacted us because of some suspicious activity at a construction job for the new ExxonMobil complex north of Houston," McGinty told AMM. "Things were not adding up at the site. They eventually learned that excess amounts of copper—beyond what the specs of the job called for—were being ordered, cut at the job site and then sent to a scrapyard for processing."

Heico subsequently launched an internal investigation, which eventually uncovered Kuhn’s alleged scheme.

"After being confronted by Heico investigators in February 2013, Kuhn confessed to the crimes and was fired on the spot, at which point we began gathering evidence to acquire an arrest warrant," McGinty said.

Kuhn, who has been charged with a first-degree felony, remains in custody on $500,000 bond.

Representatives from KenMor declined to comment. Calls to Heico were not returned.

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