Ex-Dixie Chopper president Wilson charged with theft

Friday, December 20, 2013

The former president and one-time chief financial officer of Dixie Chopper/Magic Circle Corp. is facing theft charges following his arrest Thursday.

Simon Paul Delancey Wilson, 39, who was named president and Chief Executive Officer of the Fillmore-based lawnmower manufacturer in October 2011, was arrested Thursday morning in Plainfield where he was reportedly attending the closing on the sale of his home there.

Initially lodged in the Putnam County Jail at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, Wilson bonded out at 6:50 p.m. and made his initial appearance in Putnam Superior Court Friday morning in a brief hearing in front of Judge Denny Bridges.

The judge entered a preliminary not-guilty plea for Wilson, represented by Indianapolis legal counsel, and scheduled a pretrial conference for 8:30 a.m. Feb. 12.

Charged with theft, a Class D felony, Wilson could face six months to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if found guilty.

Simon Wilson

A report by investigating officer Det. Pat McFadden of the Putnam County Sheriff's Department alleges that Wilson stole $18,705 in cash and merchandise from the rewards account set up on a corporate American Express Card issued to Magic Circle Corp. in Wilson's name.

He reportedly collected the rewards points from company expenses that were charged to the corporate credit card, allegedly converting them into 17 American Express gift cards of $1,000 each and $1,705 in merchandise he reportedly had sent directly to his Plainfield home.

Wilson has been living and working in Fargo, N.D., since he was asked to resign this past June for "misrepresenting the corporation's financial position," a probable cause affidavit states.

Wilson was elevated to head up Dixie Chopper operations in October 2011 after then-president Gary Morgan was also asked to resign for reasons unrelated to this incident, court documents note.

Morgan was hired from New Holland Corp. in November 2008 to be president and CEO of Dixie Chopper. Soon thereafter, he brought in Wilson from New Holland to be CFO.

Morgan was also issued one of the two original American Express cards acquired when the account was initially opened, Det. McFadden reported. Eventually more cards were added to the account, totaling approximately 40 in 2013.

Dixie Chopper accounts never received any rewards benefits from the American Express program, McFadden's report also noted.

The investigation determined that Wilson did not have Magic Circle Corp. board approval to open a corporate account, as required by corporation bylaws.

Documents indicate Wilson made 13 documented purchases through the rewards program, totaling the $18,705 over the period April 12, 2011-April 5, 2012.

McFadden further noted that Magic Circle provided documentation that none of the cash or merchandise was ever awarded to Wilson as a company bonus. The detective also noted that none of the income was reported on Simon's tax returns.

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  • divide that up amound the workers that got laid off and it would have made a nice christmas bonus. Hopefully they get back to their "country roots". Layoffs before the holidays wont happen anymore, and vacation time wont be stripped away. JMO

    -- Posted by wormy772 on Fri, Dec 20, 2013, at 3:39 PM
  • yes they did!!! That was a very selfish act and im sure he is not smiling now..

    -- Posted by upyours on Sat, Dec 21, 2013, at 12:14 PM
  • Wow, Are you serious????? He is arrested for using points from their credit cards???? And, who doesn't do this at any large corporation? It happens DAILY, my friends. Give me a break. Dixie is still looking for a scapegoat as to who to blame for poor business management. There are MULTIPLE problems with respect to the issues there! And, I will tell you... they are not going bankrupt because Simon (aka: City Slicker) "stole" their precious points on their credit cards.

    -- Posted by BSbuster on Sun, Dec 22, 2013, at 2:42 PM
  • How would you know BSBuster? You sound like a disgruntled ex-employee or one those "city slickers" as mentioned above. I'm sure this isn't everything that will be found.

    -- Posted by Morons on Mon, Dec 23, 2013, at 8:26 AM
  • Horsepower... I take offense to the term 'east coast bandits'. First of all you have some of your original workhorse dealers on the east coast. How have you treated them? I will tell you... poorly! That is such a short sighted comment that it leads me to believe you may be part of the management team there at Dixie. You are more than likely prejudice as well! My guess is when you first hired the outside management team you got what you could get. Either you hired the first warm bodies or qualified candidates didn't apply or turned down the positions. I would bet a nickel the business was in trouble when you sought out new management. Sounds like you are failing! Blaming someone else for your failure is a cop out! being successful at business takes work! its not a party! As far as what this man did; if he stole your 18 grand and was clearly not authorized to do so that is WRONG. If you intend to make a case against him you better hope nobody else has ever done the same or else you will have to prosecute all who ever used a point for personal use. Too bad it will likely cost more than 18 Grand to follow thru with the case. My guess is if you are indeed in financial trouble 18 Grand is not even a drop in the bucket!

    I wish all the good folks involved the best. Lets accept this for what it is. Maybe Dixie just didn't have what it takes to stay in the race. I will say you built a great machine with the classic, then you completely changed and cheapened it up, oh and raised the price. I bet that move along with your parts shortage dealt a blow that is difficult to rebound from. I know I couldn't rebound from it and had to switch brands. I would be a loyal customer if you only would have cared for me.

    -- Posted by mowwithscagitsthebest on Mon, Dec 23, 2013, at 8:30 AM
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