By: Bill Bregar
October 2, 2013
Christopher Filos, former owner of the closed-down HPM machinery company, was arrested at the Newark, N.J., airport by U.S. Marshals and faces extradition to Mount Gilead, Ohio, for charges of aggravated theft, failure to remit state income tax withheld and theft, the Morrow County, Ohio, Sheriff's Office has announced.
Filos was arrested Sept. 27. The county sheriff issued a news release on its Facebook page.
None of the agencies involved with the investigation or arrest — the U.S. Marshals Service, county sheriff's department and Morrow County Prosecutor Charles Howland — would say why Filos was arrested at the airport. They had no details about the arrest.
Filos was taken to Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark.
According to the Morrow County Sheriff's Office, after his initial hearing in New Jersey, Filos will be extradited to Morrow County to faces the charges.
Specific details about the charges were not available. His company, Taylor's Industrial Services, bought the assets of HPM in 2001. The plant closed down in December 2009. HPM, once a landmark company that employed a thousand people in the 1960s, went into receivership and the equipment was auctioned off in early 2011.
"Mr. Filos left the area owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes to Morrow County and the state of Ohio," the sheriff's news release said.
Howland, the county prosecutor, said Morrow County issued the arrest warrants after a grand jury issued a secret indictment. Normally, news about a secret indictment does not come out until a defendant appears in court, Howland said. For that reason, he declined to explain details about the charges.
The arrest of Filos comes more than a year and a half after Howland's office announced it had decided not to file charges against Filos. In early 2012, Howland said that only a few former employees came to a meeting to discuss potential charges about health insurance premiums Filos had collected but allegedly used to pay business expenses and personal property tax. The prosecutor decided not to go forward with the case.
Contacted Oct. 1, Howland said the Morrow County Prosecutor's Office decided to continue the investigation. He said local authorities would give more details about the probe once Filos is in the local court system.
"The investigation of this would really make a good novel," Howland said.
Meanwhile, the HPM name continues on, as Chinese injection press maker Guangdong Yizumi Precision Machinery Ltd., bought the company's intellectual property at the auction. Yizumi has set up HPM North America Corp. in Marion, Ohio.
HPM was founded in 1877 to make apple presses.