DECIPHER_Logo.gifEvery wonder what happened to Decipher? We sure did. Thanks to Daniel Perez, we now know. Apparently, Rick Eddlemen, the brother-in-law of Decipher’s founder Warren Holland and VP of finance, spent nine of his years at the company embezzling over $1.5MM from the company, forcing the company to lay of 90 employees. Eddleman is currently charged with 12 counts of embezzlement (which could result in up to 12 years in prison) with a separate civil suit from Decipher for $8.9MM in damages.

For those who aren’t familiar with Decipher, they had the full Star Trek license (which resulted in an average RPG and a really great CCG), the Lord of the Rings license (which also resulted in an average RPG and a great CCG) and the Star Wars CCG license (before WotC took it over – many people considered the Decipher version significantly better). They even launched an online version of the LotR CCG that was quite cool. They tried many different things over the years that never really went anywhere (the .hack and Mega Man CCGs) and even created a new property with Michael Stackpole that really could have been cool (the “Wars” CCG). For most of the 1990’s, they were considered to be a step behind Wizards, but in the early 2000’s they really seemed to start falling apart, discontinuing a number of great games.