FBI nabs Cincy-area man accused in $8.7 M theft

Ex-controller for Pepsi-Cola Bottler to be extradited from Virginia.

The FBI has captured a man on the run from charges accusing him of stealing more than $8.7 million from his former employer, a Pepsi bottler with offices in Loveland and Hamilton.

James T. Hammes, 53, was arrested in Damascus, Va., on May 16. Todd Lindgren, spokesman for the Cincinnati District of the FBI, said the agency is not disclosing what led agents to Hammes.

The arrest, for now, ends a case that began in February 2009 when he fled after an interview with agents.

His flight triggered a federal arrest warrant and even garnered him some face time in 2012 on TV programs "American Greed: The Fugitives" and "America's Most Wanted."

In May 2009, a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Ohio returned a 75-count indictment charging Hammes with wire fraud and money laundering accusing him of embezzling approximately $8,711,282 from Cincinnati-based G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers Inc. between 1998 and February 2009.

According to the indictment, Hammes during that time was the controller for the company’s Lexington, Ky., division and was responsible for all financial accounting and internal controls.

The indictment alleges that Hammes opened an unauthorized vendor bank account, created an illegitimate account payable for the vendor from which checks were disbursed and deposited the payments into the bank account. Hammes is alleged to have then transferred the stolen money into his personal bank and brokerage accounts.

Hammes is in custody in Virginia and will be returned to Ohio to face the previous indictments.