CEO Commits Suicide After Accountant Steals Company Funds To Gamble

This story was published more than 12 years ago.

A South Carolina CEO reportedly killed himself after a former accountant admitted to him that she stole company funds to spend on internet gambling

Tom Sponseller's body was found in the storage room of an underground parking area after being missing for ten days. Sponseller was the CEO of the South Carolina Hospitality Association and left a suicide letter naming Rachel Duncan as the person that had stolen the funds from the company. Duncan was the Association's former Director of Finance and Membership Records.

In the note, which was verified to have been written by Sponseller, the former executive said that Duncan admitted her crime to him on February 16th. The claim shocked Sponseller, as he had trusted the accountant for eleven years and had never known that she was a thief. The suicide note also noted that Duncan said that she thought she could get the money back.

“Rachel has told me she is going to cooperate in any way to minimize or avoid jail,” Sponseller wrote. “She also led me to believe (there) might be a chance to recover some of her gambling funds from the online casino where she played."

Two days after the confession Sponseller shot himself.

Duncan and her attorney would not comment when approached by news agencies and she has not been charged with a crime as of yet.

The U.S. Secret Service has commented however, saying that Duncan is currently a subject of an investigation that may focus on internet gambling.

An audit by the S.C. Hospitality Association reported that between 2009-2012, $480,000 went missing. The results of that audit will be turned over to the Secret Service to aid in the investigation.