Former Huntsville CEO accused of theft files for bankruptcy

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A Huntsville man accused of embezzling millions of dollars from his technology company has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Former Simple Helix CEO Steve Shickles and his wife Ronda filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in federal bankruptcy court on Jan. 17, according to online records.

Simple Helix sued Shickles earlier in January, after he had resigned from the company.

According to the company’s lawsuit, Shickles took more than $2.5 million in customer payments over several years and funneled them into a personal PayPal account for his personal use. The lawsuit also claims additional payments were made from Simple Helix to Shickles’s credit card without statements or invoices, as well as questionable payments made to his personal account and vendors without supporting documentation to justify them.

Shickles leased warehouses and stored equipment and items he bought with the company’s money, according to the company’s lawsuit. The warehouse contained an SUV Shickles allegedly bought in the company’s name, as well as a new BMW 238i, a motor home, four Segway scooters, high-end computer equipment, driving simulators and other electronics, the suit claims. An employee of the company who regularly visited the warehouse had seen other high-end performance cars there in the past, the suit claims.

Simple Helix is attempting to get a restraining order against Shickles being able to access the warehouse or any of the items within.

Huntsville police arrested Shickles Jan. 14 on a charge of first-degree theft. He was released on $30,000 bond.

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