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Toy Exec Accused of Embezzlement

ST. LOUIS (CN) - Federal prosecutors say a former executive of the company that made the popular Zhu Zhu pet toys embezzled $400,000 from the company. Joseph B. Van Gronigen, 41, of Hillsboro, Mo., was charged with two counts of mail fraud. He allegedly embezzled more than $400,000 from Cepia LLC between September 2007 and January this year.

Von Gronigen began working for Cepia in 2005 and became the company's controller in 2008, prosecutors said.

Cepia's Zhu Zhu Pets were one of the hottest items during the 2009 Christmas shopping season.

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