The founder of Slync, a supply-chain management software startup, has been charged for misappropriating $20 million from the company, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.
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,” said U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton. “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,” said FBI Dallas Acting Special Agent in Charge James J. Dwyer. “The FBI will remain persistent in our efforts to hold individuals accountable that commit such brazen acts of corporate greed.”
According to the complaint, Mr. 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, Mr. Kirchner told an employee that he was transferring money received from an investor into “an investment account” and a “chase” account. He then instructed the employee to approve the wires. But Mr. 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.
Meanwhile, in emails, Mr. Kirchner told private bankers that the $20 million represented “a distribution from my company.” Slync’s Board of Directors never authorized such a distribution.
Mr. Kirchner allegedly used the $20 million – which amounted to roughly 40 percent 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.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation of wrongdoing, not evidence. Like all defendants, Mr. Kirchner is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua Detzky, John de la Garza, and Blake Ellison are prosecuting the case.