Cancer delays sentencing for former executive who embezzled more than $9M from drilling firm

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PITTSBURGH — The former chief operating officer of a western Pennsylvania drilling company has cancer, delaying his federal court sentencing on charges he stole more than $9 million from a western Pennsylvania drilling firm.

Fifty-three-year-old Larry Dean Winckler pleaded guilty to conspiracy, mail fraud and income tax fraud in February and was to be sentenced Monday.

Winckler acknowledged he had checks written to himself from the bank accounts of Falcon Drilling LLC in Indiana County and that he and another company official sent bogus letters to auditors claiming to not know anything about the stolen money.

Winckler's attorney Martin Dietz says "every penny" of the thefts was driven by Winckler's casino gambling addiction.

Federal court records show Monday's sentencing in Pittsburgh has been postponed until Sept. 19 so Winckler can have cancer surgery.

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