Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sujata Sachdeva, You Aren't Even Trying

One time, many years ago, my mother went out of town. Because I was a poor high schooler, and because I got sick of driving my sweet Pontiac Bonneville around all the time, and because my mom had a full tank of gas, I was driving her car around and about. No big deal. Well, while I was doing that, someone else, who shouldn't have been, was cruising up and down the block in my car. When I got home, and was walking into the house, I noticed that all the lights were lit on the dashboard. I noticed that it was still in gear. And when I pushed the eject button, I noticed that there was a CD that I would never listen to in the CD player. So I went and confronted the person that I suspected, and I wound up saying a not really famous line "I am not so much upset that you did it, I am more disappointed that you didn't even try to cover it up."
Well, I could and should be saying that to Sujata Sachdeva. She goes by the name Sue, so I would say it like this: "Sue, I am not so much upset that you did it, I am more disappointed that you didn't even try to cover it up." By now, if you haven't already hopped over to one of the many quality search engines available and found out what Sue did, you are probably wondering what kind of tomfoolery she was involved in. Hmmm...well that's a good question. As it turns out Sue liked clothes. A lot. A lot more than she had the personal wealth to back up. But she did, however, work for a large corporation that had plenty of case to support her habit. Some of you...yes...you can see where this is going. I'll lay the punchline on you. So it should be no surprise then that recently she was accused of embezzling $4.5 million dollars from Koss Corp, the makers of fine headphones, etc.
Now you might be thinking to yourself, or even saying out loud to the guy next to you on the bus "$4.5 million dollars, wow, that's a lot of clothes." And you would be right. But I am not sure that you have begun to understand just how many clothes that really is. The reason I say that is they found a bunch of said clothes in Sue's office when they went to see what was up, many of them had their $2000-plus price tags on them. But let's not skip too far ahead. I don't want to have to Tarantino this thing and start at the end. Let's look into how it all went down.
It was pretty simple, really. Sachdeva was a major financial officer at Koss, holding a variety of titles, including some which allowed her to sign financial documents that were required to be submitted to the United States Security and Exchange Commission, which is the government branch that oversees publicly traded companies. In this capacity she obviously had access to all sorts of financial information: account numbers, balances, etc. So what she would do was go out shopping, ring up big bills at fancy-pants stores that like to call themselves "boutiques" and "jewelers" and "salons" and other things that I would be tempted to put in "quotation marks." Anyway, she would go there, charge Lady Rebecca-esque amounts of money to her American Express card, and then make wire transfers from Koss Corp accounts to pay off the balances.
American Express, of course, noticed this, and so they called up Koss CEO Michael J. Koss and said "Hey, ummm...I don't know if you know this but someone is wiring huge amounts of money from your corporate accounts to pay off their credit card bills. Oh, and that someone is Sujata Sachdeva." I would assume that Koss' answer was somewhere along the lines of "Hey, thanks for doing me that solid, American Express. You're the best." He then proceeded over to Sue's office where he found the aforementioned piles of clothes. Some with the price tags still on. Oh, and there were AmEx statements. Ouch. The scene was similar at her house when authorities confronted here there. Smoking guns in abundance.
I will give Sachdeva some credit, however, because she never turned tail and tried to save herself. I mean, I am sure that she knew the gig was up but she has at least been cooperative and has sort of realized that her had was caught very much in the cookie jar, and she isn't just lying through he teeth to save herself. So that's good; I am always in favor of that sort of behavior.
I am not, however, in favor of not even trying to cover up your misdeeds. I mean, I would have at least funneled the money through some other entity so I didn't get caught. Oh, and I probably wouldn't have left my purchases just lying around for everyone to find. I would have made them at least pull some receipts and track down a storage shed in some bad part of town. Oh, and I wouldn't have left my credit card statements just hanging out on my desk or wherever, I would probably have lugged them around with me in my backpack, or briefcase or whatever I carried stuff in. Because those are evidence of the naughty things I was doing so I would want more control over who was looking at my business.
So she didn't even try. But the fact that she was so bad about covering her tracks kind of says to me that she wasn't going this to be like a greedy fuck, she was doing this because she had a sort of shopping addiction and was in desperate straits. That still doesn't excuse what she did. $4.5 million dollars of the course of a year or two is pretty significant to a company that only made $2 million in profit last year. They immediately set up an inquiry into exactly how much she embezzled and how she did it and for how long. And they have asked Nasdaq, where they are traded, to suspend trading of their shares until they get their figure out what is going on. Smart moves. I really hope this doesn't destroy Koss, and I really hope that she does a significant amount of time, which she won't because this is a white-collar crime but she needs to learn. And other people need to learn. I know I have learned one thing from this all. If I am a corporation, I want to have American Express. Definitely American Express.

12 comments:

toolkien said...

Somewhere in the semi-unconscious she wanted to get caught. She did it once or twice probably intending to pay it back. But she didn't, and couldn't stop. Once she got out way over her skis she knew the only way it was going to end was to get caught.

Big Dave said...

I totally agree with you toolkien. Totally agree

Moltar said...

She obviously rode the affirmative action bandwagon through Marquette law school and thought she was entitled to anything she wanted.

Dee said...

toolkien, I agree with you too. Sue did want to get caught. She probably did try it once or twice and didn't get caught and then she just went crazy. She probably did intend to pay it back but it got so big, so overwhelming, such a burden on her, day after day, worry. Shopping was her addiction, her out, Sue is sick, really sick. I understand her so much it kills me. I only hope she will find some help. The lady is dying of shame right now. It will take years to forgive herself, if she ever does. My heart brakes for her, I don't condone what she did, it was wrong. She knows it was wrong, but she couldn't stop. That's why she wanted to get caught.

krnf2 said...

Who are you to say anything?.You dont know the story.My store sold clothing to her monthly and I know she didnt want to get caught,,,or she would have many months earlier.

Anonymous said...

Did you know that her husband is both a doctor annd lawyer and phd and mba. Probably she didnt get enough sex from him. We need to ask her husband who chose this wife of his in his arranged marriage deal.These seem to be the crap from India who has never seen money. Indians are good at grabbing as much as they can because corruption is like drinking water in india, and no body even care there. That should be the defense strategy because I am from India I didnt know you know we do that back home all the time!
What a spineless husband to not notice the crazy spending. I bet he knew. She was charming so he thought they are all good.
Be careful in hiring these FOB'S.

Anonymous said...

Sue has done this before on smaller scale and managed to beg for forgiveness and gave the money back when confronted with proof that she told too many lies to cover up her tracks, convinced them not to press charges. Husband knew about it as well. Still he did not notice anything amiss! Go figure! Lots of degrees do not improve basic intelligence.

Anonymous said...

She is just a bad apple. There are immigrants who do not have Phd's or MBA, and yes they are FOB's who drive taxis and work 3 jobs and yes they are honest enough as cab drivers to return the money left by a passenger. So never judge a book by its cover. Just because they live in fancy houses, have fancy degrees and drive fancy cars does not mean they cannot and will not commit white collar crimes. It is greed and a good lesson ....Less is more.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous who said "crap from India" - are you really belonging to any human race or nation? You really stink and probably need a life! What has Sujata Sachdeva got to do with corruption in India and other things you talk about as it seems you are a chaprasi - you get it?? Get lost man, you are a shit person who is not supposed to be on the Internet and we shall hunt you down soon. There are many scams and many scrupulous white collars out there, think bigger about the scams done by politicians and things like enron who have sucked life out f the dead.
If you do not get this, you are are a jerk, if you are man, please stay away from afamily, if you are a female, please stay away from a family - you STINK

Anonymous said...

Sujata's behavior is her own and not of anyone else. Equating her behavior to that of an Indian or India is certainly misguided if not racist and discriminatory to those of Indian heritage or Origin.

Anonymous said...

Hi I and my mother have worked for this woman for many years. my mother was a nanny for her kids. used to live in her house for years. Her husband never knew anything because she would hide the packages and receipts before he would come home. that husband is one gem of a person. he is such a humble man. whenever he would find she has done craxy shopping he would fight with her but because of their kids he would always try to avoid. my family and i had moved to india and just today i found she has done this. im shocked. but not suprised. but please do not saything bit about her ex husband. she never deserved him anyway.

Anonymous said...

I have known her and her husband for 13 years. I have lived in their house for 5 years as a nanny. I moved out of country years ago and came to know this today and the first thing that came to my mind was her poor humble husband. No one has said anything nice about him on any article. this woman always neglected him. He would always talk so sweetly to ber and she would snap back. treated him like dirt. She would throw away boxes before he would come home. He had no idea she had store rooms outside the house someplace else keeping this. he used to argue with her about spending too much. he had no idea she was stealing money. they had separate accounts. how can he know? she never loved him he is the one who loved her and she always lied to him. she was never home. he would always call her and ask her where she was when she would ve home. .. you people need to stop accussing her husband