Busted! Owner of Evanger’s arrested on felony charges

The president of Evanger’s was arrested on charges of subornation of perjury, bribery and communicating with a witness in an ongoing trial where he is charged with Class 1 felony theft and money laundering.

Joel Sher, owner of Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Co., was booked into county jail and charged with attempting to bribe a witness in a case where Sher has been accused of stealing over $2 million worth of gas and power lines to his company.

Mr. Sher allegedly offered $5,000 to a witness in exchange for changing testimony in the case stemming from 2010, when Sher ordered employees to use jack hammers to dig through concrete and asphalt and divert gas lines, even supplying them with a tool to help roll back gas meters, as part of an elaborate system in which gas flow was diverted to the pet food plant before it ever reached the meter.

In 2010, Cook County prosecutors charged Sher along with his wife, Holly Sher, whose family owns Evanger’s, of also illegally diverting electricity by tapping into main power lines on poles outside their plant. The couple, were also accused of ordering an employee, wearing only a pair of rubber gloves, to disconnect an illegal bypass attached to a high-voltage line shortly before inspectors arrived.

Mr. Sher and his wife Holly Sher were both charged with felony theft and money laundering in the scheme, which allegedly had gone on for several years. Witnesses say the smell of gas fumes wasn’t unusual at Evanger’s.

Mr. Sher now faces three new criminal charges, including subornation of perjury, bribery and communicating with a witness, in addition to the original charge of Class 1 felony theft and money laundering. A Class 1 felony designation is typically the most serious felony in the states where this designation is used.


Chicago Tribune; Man accused of trying to bribe witness; 2013 Feb 9. [cited 2013 Feb 24] Available from: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-02-09/news/chi-man-accused-of-trying-to-bribe-witness-20130209_1_bribe-witness-power-lines-gas-flow

Cook County Sheriff D.O.C Inmate Locator: Individual Inmate Report (page can no longer be found)
The Village of Wheeling v. Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Company (pdf)

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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, the author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and consumer advisor. Help support her work by making a donation today.