Bradley Stinn – Saint or Sinner? The CEO’s Role in Freidman’s Jewelers Collaspe…

Written in an earlier blog reporting Freidman’s former CEO’s conviction, I stated, “Following six weeks of trial – Bradley Stinn, age 47, – former CEO of Freidman’s, Inc. and Crescent Jewelers, found himself being convicted of securities fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy. Likewise, in addition to Stinn’s conviction, the former CFO, Victor Suglia and form Controller, John Mauro have entered guilty pleas into what was a massive accounting fraud.”

The facts seemed clear and a jury found Mr. Stinn guilty. But, as with any indictment, trial and verdict there seem to be multiple perspectives. Here are some comments made on the first blog that taken together have me confused. The question is – what is the truth? Take a look:

“All I have to say is that you have no clue what you are talking about about Brad Stinn. Yes it is true that the CFO, Victor Suglia, pleaded guilty to accounting fraud. The truth is that Mr. Suglia pointed to Mr. Stinn in order to reduce his own sentence. Mr. Stinn’s only fault has been to hire a crook CFO – nothing else.”

Now for the life of me, I can’t get my arms around how a jury can find the former CEO Stinn guilty and the person posting this comment so clueless? What does this person know that the jury didn’t? Perhaps facts can be shared with us to help those of us who don’t know Bradley Stinn – better know why a mistake was made! But here’s another comment:

“BRADLEY STINN IS N O T G U I L T Y.”

And yet another comment about Mr. Stinn’s character:

“Brad Stinn is a man of integrity, a great father to his children and husband to his wife. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

According to Wikipedia – Integrity – is defined as follows: “Integrity is the basing of one’s actions on an internally consistent framework of principles. Depth of principles and adherence of each level to the next are key determining factors. One is said to have integrity to the extent that everything one does and believes is based on the same core set of values.”

I do not doubt that Mr. Stinn is a wonderful person, husband and father. I was as well, yet I went to prison for lack of integrity – for an ethics failure. If the true principles of a CEO are to honestly run the company in compliance with the law for the best interest of the shareholders, then I would question Mr. Stinn’s integrity. He was convicted for running his company in what he thought might have been the best interests of the shareholders, but he was found guilty for doing that while breaking the law! That is not an example of integrity – is it?

Another posting from the former blog stated the following:

“Are you kidding me? These people are offering sympathy for this man? His fraudulant behavior threw the already troubled company into a talespin. Then enter the next set of crooks. These people made six figures on the hard work of peons like me. I made $10.50 an hour…I worked 14-16 hour days(most times with no break). Forgive me if I feel no sympathy for him. He lied. Bottom line. The evidence proved this. I hope his sentence is harsh and I hope more execs end up before a judge. I worked for this company for years and the higher ups (always thinking of their own gain) sold all of us out…with NO warning. Theft is theft…white collar is just a “more pleasant” was of putting it.”

Hum…well this person is obviously disgruntled and I can understand why. Part of what is said is true. Here’s a reality check – lying about your numbers is lying and knowledge that you’re lying is criminal.

The final comment thus far was the most telling. The question for anyone who might have been on the jury would have been – did he know and did he condone? Here’s what this poster had to say:

“I was not “at the top” but worked with those people, trust me Brad knew every detail of every stores P&l and directed all charge offs etc. Nothing happened without not only his knowledge but his direction.”

This last comment, if true, would clearly support why Mr. Stinn was convicted. Every choice you make has a consequence. As a white collar crime and business ethics speaker, I speak from first hand experience about the truth about consequences. Reality is – no one escapes the consequences of their choices. While Stinn may have looked good hitting the numbers for a time and avoided the consequences – he did not avoid the consequences all together. Prison is no fun and Stinn is facing 25 years for his conviction. Likely he will serve time and that will prove to be a dramatic change from his prior activities.

You do reap what you sow.

If anyone reading has any background on Stinnfeel free to comment.

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153 Responses to Bradley Stinn – Saint or Sinner? The CEO’s Role in Freidman’s Jewelers Collaspe…

  1. I KNOW HEM says:

    OUR DAUGHTERS WENT TO THE SAME SCHOOL, HE WAS ALLWAYS A VERY NICE
    PERSON TO ME AND MY WIFE, I WILL PRAY FOR THE FAMILY, THEY

  2. disgusted says:

    Yes, I am disgruntled….disappointed and disillusioned. I don’t buy this defense “I didn’t know”. Dear God he was the CEO of a multi-million dollar corporation. HE is accountable. For his six figure income he should have done his homework. If he didn’t…then he should been paid my $10.50 an hour. Don’t take the coward’s way out! You don’t become a very wealthy CEO by being your co-worker’s victim or anyone’s victim for that matter. That is a ludicris defense and people just don’t believe that lie. We all knew something was up at the corporate level with the P&L accounts…we dealt with the many customers stating “I used to have an account but it was never paid off, can I open another?” They would try and ta-dah! they were approved. How about the too many to count bankrupcy notices that came to the stores? How about all the accounts that showed up in the POS system as P&L? We could see just at a store level the credit granting system was NOT getting the company paid. Now, I didn’t make six figures but, even I had enough sense to know something shady was up. And then we see we are ranked 3rd? Maybe corporate could see figures we couldn’t? Come on now, the CEO COULDN’T lie about numbers that would be against the law right? To all the people that say “he was a wonderful man, always so nice”…wake up! They said the same things about Ted Bundy. Appearances can be deceiving. He played a major dishonest role in destroying a company that had survived 88 years. Think about that…88 years! He deserves everything the law throws at him.

  3. disgusted says:

    To Disgruntled et al

    Stupidity clearly knows know bounds. The enormous chip on your shoulder reveals your irresponsible comments to be nothing more than vitriol from a resentful, pathetic little man. I have no idea if Stinn was truly guilty or not…and neither do you. What is clear as day, however, is you, Mr Gallagher and all of the others who participate in this ridiculous blog have much too much time on their hands and use it to find new ways to embarrass themselves by spouting off about things they know nothing about. Unbelievable.

  4. FromCorpSavannah says:

    Amen to discusted. “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time!!” And, yeah, he’s a nice guy…so what?

    This may not be the correct forum, but I’m going to vent anyway…

    I worked at the corporate office in Savannah during the audits, SEC investigations, bankruptcy, etc. We (corporate employees) always wondered if we would find the doors locked when we arrived for work.

    I liked the comment about “…enter the next set of crooks.” I witnessed it, The amount of money spent on executives, in addition to the enormous salaries and bonuses, was unbelievable. Airfare between GA & TX for multiple executives, usually weekly, housing in posh upscale apartment communities, car rental, furniture rental, housekeeping services, laundry services, etc., etc., etc. All done with company funds and under the premiss that they could fix Everything which had gone wrong with the company and lead us to Victory! Although legal, most of us just didn’t understand how seemingly out of control spending was going to save the company.

    Friedman’s moved from an older set of run down buildings in downtown Savannah to a newly built, very nice, very large facility in 2003, I believe. They then decide to relocate the corporate office to TX in 2006. Another example of incredible, not to mention unnecessary expense! However, TX is where the majority of our executives were from. Got to keep them happy, right? Sounds to me like it backfired!

    I recently heard all employees were told on Friday that Friedman’s was ‘out of business’ and they were ‘out of a job’ as of tomorrow, 04/7/08. Does anyone know if this is true/accurate?

  5. disgusted says:

    To “disgusted says” it’s called the first amendment honey, I see you couldn’t resist the right to excercise yours as well. Thanks for participating:) And as far as “too much time on my hands” you are dead on with that statement, because I no longer have a JOB! Bradley Stinn was convicted by 12…count them…12 of his peers. You know what that tells me? He’s guilty. Read up on the Law you may learn a thing or two. Resentful? You got that one right too. I resent the vulgar spending of the execs done at the expense of hard working of people like my former co-workers and myself. I resent the lies they feed us knowing they were not only destroying a company of 80+ years, but breaking the law! The only point I must disagree with you about is…I am not a pathetic little man. I am a woman. With such a narrowminded, sexist statement like that I would be willing to place a wager on the fact you have to be a corporate exec.

  6. Alternate view says:

    I was an alternate on the jury. The amount of evidence presented to us by the prosecution was overwhelming. Generally, Suglia’s testimony was not regarded very highly, although it was used when backed up by other testimony or evidence. Just because the CFO was crooked, and involved in other frauds (i.e. Capital Factors/Cosmopolitan that didn’t involve Stinn) didn’t mean that the CEO was not involved in the false financial statements.

    The jurors chose to focus on Scooping, moving back the charge off another week or more to increase the P&L movement numbers. Friedman’s would extend the charge off at the end of fiscal months, quarters and even years. While the collected funds would be booked in the correct period, the currency/delinquency of the accounts would be distorted.

    This allowed for setting the Allowance for doubtful accounts at a much lower percentage than was actually needed (as when they had to raise it in 3Q 2003, when the auditors were watching more closely). The Scooping led to the creation of a computer program to artificially re-age accounts, leading to those accounts becoming stuck as current, no matter how much they really aged. Furthermore, the Scooping artificially inflated the EPS, leading to the bonuses, restricted stock grants, and the tax gross-up for the stock grant. Since over half of the sales were on store credit, and the high risk of those credit customers, the health of the accounts receivable portfolio would definitely be of interest to the board, auditors, and investors. Scooping hid the inability to collect.

  7. Alternate view says:

    In the previous blog entry, Oshi commented:
    “Also he was not judged by jury of his peers! Jury asked to see his income statement. What is that has to do with anything? To this jury 6 figures income is a big deal. The truth is that Stinn did not sell a single share! So his income was in 6 figure – name me a CEO of a public company whose income is not 6 figures.
    The trial should have never been in NY. The company was based in GA not NY.”

    The trial took place in Brooklyn, (southern district 2nd (NY) federal circuit). The jury was asked to decide if venue applied as some aspect of the fraud had to take place in the district. In this case it was mailing the false prospectus, and wiring funds to Brinkley in Long Island.

    We did not ask to see the income statement, only his own calculations for the bonus and raise to determine forfeiture. While I don’t think anyone on the jury made a high 6 figure salary, most of the jurors had at least a college degree, some a masters degree or higher. The verdict was reached after examining the evidence, balance sheets, operational reports, 10-ks 10qs and the 8-ks, and reams of emails, not by emotion.

    Stinn might be a nice person, but that was not the criteria used for the verdict, the evidence was.

  8. Alternate: Great post. Perhaps that gives some objective guidance into the final decision. Every choice has a consequence and even the best people can be overcome with financial temptation.

    Chuck

  9. confused says:

    This may not be the right forum for this question but, it’s worth a shot. As a Friedmans customer with a installment account and a revolving account what happens to me? Who do I pay? Will it hurt my credit? My account was messed up several times…ie…wrong balance…unknown charges…different customer info under my social. It has been a headache since I opened the line of credit. I was worried before…but now I am really worried. I may sound naive but, I have never run across this situation before. Anyone?

  10. lets hope they get it right says:

    I know Brad Stinn more than any of you bloggers will ever know of him and i tell you this WONDEFUL person is not GUILTY of this so called “crime”

  11. Wonderful people can be guilty of crimes. I was a wonderful person, still am, but I am also a convicted felon – guilty of a crime. So here’s a question, if he is not guilty of this so called “crime” what proof do you have that he is innocent? Beyond being a wonderful person, what did he do (considering you say he is innocent) that contributed to him being in this mess? And most importantly, how could it have been avoided?

  12. lets hope they get it right says:

    Chuck,

    Brad Stinn is getting screwed by the government. They have no evidence that he did this crime. They are listening to VIc who is already a criminal. He is trying to get Brad so he will have a lesser sentence. Way at the beggining when VIc got caught he was shocked yes shocked he told someone that Brad is resigning because he knew Brad had nothing to do with this.

  13. i know the truth, how about you? says:

    I have proof that VIc, yes VIc said to someone that worked for Brad he didnt understand why Stinn was resigning. After he said that he said that Brad was not involvd with any of this. Theres my proof.

  14. Fair enough…did that come out in the trial?

  15. lets pray says:

    Not sure. The real question is what proof do they have besides Vic’s word?

  16. lets pray says:

    Not sure. The real question is what proof do they have besides Vic’s word? Can anyone answer that?

  17. Alternate view says:

    On the Jury we understood that Suglia and Mauro were involved in a totally different fraud involving helping Cosmopolitan Gem defraud their factor Capital factors. Therefore, we treated their testimony as something that could not be heavily relied upon. Even Milligan, V.P. of credit, was viewed somewhat sceptically. (Some viewed him as disgruntled and ineffective, others saw him as frustrated and ignored in the company, focusing only on tightening credit granting on the front end and less on collections. Whereas the Friedman’s model was based on store partners having discretion in credit granting, and bearing responsability for collecting.)

    We paid more attention to the emails, operation reports, and transcripts of investor calls, testimony of seemingly lesser witnesses like Loiuise-Stokum, who were involved in the Monday Morning Calls. Scooping — distorting the currency/delinquency — to make the AR look better, to allow for the lower ADA, to inflate the EPS to Wall Street expectations, was the aspect that could not be pinned on anyone else. It was understood based on the transcript of analyst calls that Scooping was done deliberately, and with the intent to hide the real difficulties collecting on those accounts. No, it was not a single witness case.

    Moreover, many on the jury have backgrounds and professions in fields that work with lots and lots of data that needs to be accurate. (Economics, health care, IT, environmental science). Bad data is bad data, but bad data that is deliberate is fraud.

    —So here’s a question, if he is not guilty of this so called “crime” what proof do you have that he is innocent?–
    The Jury worked from the premise of presumed innocence, that the evidence had to support guilt.

  18. There is a clear distinction between being a good person including husband and father and getting caught up in the world of pleasing shareholders which may cloud, otherwise, good judgment and lead to fraud. Alternate View is stating a clear case for PRESSURE to perform clouding judgment and leading to choices that collectively are fraud.

    Perhaps there are others who have background either in the company or of Mr. Stinn that can shed more light on this conviction.

  19. Skeptical says:

    Alternate view writes:

    It was understood based on the transcript of analyst calls that Scooping was done deliberately, and with the intent to hide the real difficulties collecting on those accounts.

    You — an alternate juror — concluded that Stinn and others were trying to deceive investors based on transcripts of analyst calls that indicated “scooping was done deliberately”? What am I missing here? If the basis for your conclusion was a phone call to which (presumably) numerous independent analysts listened in, it would appear that Stinn was not playing “hide the ball” here. Did you really mean what you wrote?

  20. Bob says:

    My Personal Opinion:

    I knew Brad Stinn personally, having been an executive at Crescent Jewelers when he first came into the business. I found him to be arrogant, dishonest, untrustworthy and willing to do anything to anyone to get what he wanted.

    I saw many good people betrayed and who, despite years or decades with the company, forced to choose between compromising their morals or leaving. Ultimately many, like myself, couldn’t stomach him.

    Brad Stinn used to chuckle as he would tell people they were “an endangered species” prior to forcing them to resign or firing them. I’m glad to see evolution caught up with him.

  21. Alternate view says:

    Sorry for being unclear. The operational reports/Monday morning calls and internal emails directing employees to hold off the charge off for another week or two after the end of a fiscal month, quarter and even year were used to determine Stinn’s involvement in Scooping.

    The analyst calls where he told investors that collections were better and more current than they actually were, are documents used to determined the intent to deceive.

    There had to be unanimous agreement between the twelve jurors on the aspects that constituted fraud, and a determination that it was done deliberately. This was a document based case.

  22. hmmmm says:

    Bob, are you saying Brad was a Gordon Gecko?

  23. Just wondering says:

    Alternative view
    I’m sure you can comment on things that went on during the trial, except, you were just an alternate, right? You did not particpate in jury deliberations, correct? You make a lot of generalizations about what the jury decided, how they decided, what they thought was important, etc. All of which I thougt would go on in the jury room during deliberations, which alternates do not usually participate in. Was this trial different?

  24. Alternate view says:

    No, I was not in deliberations, but most of the jurors are still in touch, and they filled me in on how they got to the conclusions they did. The alternates were brought in when they requested readback of testimony, and when they requested exhibits. Since we were allowed to take notes during the trial (I don’t know how we would have been able to keep track of everything if we didn’t). I knew where they were going in deliberations, based on evidence requested and they filled me in on the details of deliberation after the trial.

    The prosecution closed with the five “big hits”
    Scooping the chargeoff causing false currency/delinquency. Which was the only aspect that all the jurors could agree upon as fraudulent, including both knowledge, and intent to defraud.

    The loose credit granting policy while stating that they had strict granting guidelines and 120 day write off policy in the 10-K

    The X-files files that were altered by a computer program to reflect a false current status.

    Setting the Allowance for doubtful accounts to meet Wall Street expectations rather than the actual reserve needed.

    The tax gross-up for the restricted stock grant
    (where Mauro’s rainy day reserve was used, to cover-up using the Morgan-Schiff accrual, whereas according to tha auditor it should have come from Ernst & Young. In the quarter after the X-files were discovered, not charged off, but still not disclosed to the auditor or the board. The loss was actually covered up by a duty rebate)

  25. Bob says:

    I’d say that Brad Stinn is like Gordon Gecko… without Gecko’s redeeming qualities.

  26. court observer says:

    Alternate View. Is is my recollection that at the end of the trial Judge Gershon ordered the jurors not to speak about the trial unless specifcially granted permission by her. If that is the case, why are you on this board, and are you not in essence violatiing the judge’s request. Clearly this is going to the appeals court, that was obvious to everyone (most notable the Judge Gershon and the Prosecutor Klugman) in the courtroom at the end of the trial as the final spectacle began to unfold. Given the judge’s admonishment to the jurors to keep mum, and their subsequent rampant violation of her request, it seems the grounds for appeal just keep getter stronger and stronger.

  27. Actually says:

    Actually, Judge Gershon instructed the jurors that while she encouraged them not to speak about the trial and deliberations, there was no rule that allowed her to forbid them from such action. This is not an issue for appeal.

  28. James says:

    As a resident of San Francisco, I can say that Bradley Stinn was never seen as “a great guy”. He and his wife were seen as vulgar and nouveau riche. They bragged that the company was paying for their expensive rentals and helped with the purchase of their home and Napa vineyards. Who is helping the people who invested in Friedmans? A thief is a thief. I am sure that Mr. Stinn has hidden much of his earnings and his family will continue to live in the luxury that his crimes have made possible.

  29. Alternate view says:

    The Jury was instructed during the trial not to discuss it.
    In thanking and dismissing us, she said that we were allowed to discuss it or not as we chose.

    I am under the impression that the lawyers were instructed not to talk to the jurors.

  30. NO NAME says:

    James, Im a friend of Brad Stinn and I know what YOU are saying is not true at all. Brad Stinn was a person who im sure was very happy with what he had because he worked his ass off to get it. Brad Stinn never and I mean never bragged about what he had to me or to anyone I have met. He was always a very humble man. I can tell by what you said you didnt know Brad very well ,if you did at all. Last thing, BRADLEY STINN is NOT GUILTY and hopefully justice will serve in the appeal.

  31. James Knows says:

    JAMES is correct.

    If James is who I think he is (don’t ever call him Jim), he knows all too well what Brad Stinn is all about, as do I, and he’s spot on.

    I’ve never had a lot of use for Sterling, but at least he didn’t seem to have the expectation of entitlement that Brad has had. When they walked into the office on 11th Street for the first time (after cashing their Zales commission checks) much of the office laughed at Brad’s arrogance and pompousness. He was described as walking like he had a stick… well you get the idea. He never let a day pass when he didn’t brag about how loaded daddy was and how he would be too. When he moved into the house in the Marina, he couldn’t wait to brag and gloat about how prestigious his lifestyle had become.

    Brad’s narcissism and total lack of regard for those who depended the Company for their livelihood was a harbinger of what he did in Georgia. Like the James I knew, I was in the “inner circle” and knew all the players on a business and social level. His “big shot” act may have worked for you, No Name, but for those who dealt with him on the highest levels, we know him as someone who wouldn’t think for a moment about screwing someone (or many, many people- like shareholders) for personal gain.

    Respect the jury. Respect the people who lost so much. Respect the truth and stop making excuses for a convicted felon who (with the guidance of God) will get everything he deserves.

    (The comments above are the personal opinion of the author)

  32. inner person says:

    For those of you who believe Brad is innocent I am disappointed. Unless you were in the “inner circle” and privy to all of the details of deceit, you are not qualified to comment. Brad a nice guy, charismatic, charming, etc., Yes he is all of that and that is how he managed to pull all of this off. It pains me that Brad, Vic and John will have to serve prison time, but it pains me more how their actions adversely effected so many people who trusted the”company”, i.e., stockholders, employees, vendors and customers.

  33. NO NAME says:

    Hold on a second, Brad Stinn got screwed by the goverment. I know Brad Stinn more than any of you will ever know of him, i dont care what level you guys say you know him on cause you sure dont know him as well as I do. Im gunna say it again Brad Stinn got screwed by the government and by Vic. Vic is hidding the truth. Vic knows Brad had nuthin to do with it but he keeps on making stuff up to lessen his sentence. I know a lot of people got screwed and lost there jobs in this whole thing, but i will assure you it wasnt Brad Stinn’s fault and i know that for a fact.

  34. i know whats right says:

    James please come out and say your whole name and what you had to do with Friedmans or Crescent and how you knew Brad. thanks.

  35. Tempboy says:

    Consideration of him in the context of saint or sinner is perhaps a little unfair . . .

    As a former home office employee, I worked around Brad on daily basis for a couple of years and found him bright, driven, and charismatic . . . but when its all said and done that amounts to a single subjective view and judging by the previous posts, just one of many.

    Having personality traits that are desirable or undesirable is not a crime, securities fraud is.

    Our justice system is not infallible, but those jurors clearly saw compelling evidence that laws had been broken and that Brad was guilty and should be held accountable.

    Should he go to prison, it will be as a result of his own actions or inactions.

    Saint or Sinner? It probably doesn’t matter . . . . Ultimately he had control of his destiny, unlike the shareholders.

  36. James Knows says:

    James’ name isn’t at issue here. Either is mine. You can claim to be his best buddy, but that doesn’t change what we know, and we know plenty.

    If you really did know him like you pretend, you would most certainly know that NOTHING went on that he a) didn’t know about and b) either direct or approve. It’s quite obvious that you weren’t a part of the inner circle we speak of and while I know how charming Brad could be to his friends, you are obviously clueless regarding how shrewd and calculating he was about money.

    Too bad you aren’t as worried about the many who lost their retirement or their job as you are about a greedy, arrogant and pompous thief. Don’t worry about Brad, he can play on the prison football team and daddy’s will always be waiting for him when he gets out.

  37. inner person says:

    To JamesKnowsSays: Amen to your post. I do understand that Brad’s friends are loyal and only saw one side of him. Those that worked with him and Vic at the executive level knew differently and I believe have a better perspective of how things really were. Like you, I feel for the employees and everyone else. I finally saw the light and, after seven years, resigned about six months before it fell apart.

    • Jack D. says:

      “Those that worked with him and Vic at the executive level knew differently and I believe have a better perspective of how things really were.”

      You talked about Brad, but only mentioned Vic. What was the general feeling about Vic among those who knew him on the job?

      Thanks.

  38. Are you kidding me? says:

    To James Knows: You refer to his daddy being loaded…are you referring to Brad’s father? OK, so everyone has worked on the inside and KNOWS Brad….give me a break. Did you read the posts you sent? You have some pent up feelings and a lot of anger….there are people that can help you…and for the record…I know Brad Stinn….LOL

  39. inner person says:

    Are you kidding me????? Trust me when I tell you, I have no anger whatsoever. Brad treated me very well and I have no ill will towards him. In fact, I liked working with him very much although I cannot dismiss the indiscretions that occurred within the company. This is not personal.

  40. NO Name says:

    James:

    Looks like your a real jerk and have some anger problems to say things like that. Can you tell me clear evidence and i mean clear none of this conference call bullshit, i mean documents that Brad knew alll along like you say what he was doing. thanks.

  41. Backing him up says:

    Brad’s only mistake was hireing Victor Suglia I will assure you of that.

  42. inner person says:

    To No Name Says: I don’t have to produce anything for you. I saw the same documentation that was presented at the trial. You can’t argue with documentation.
    Wake up and stop finger pointing, are you a psychologist qualified to determine if I am angry or not. I assure you, as I stated earlier, Brad treated me very well. There is a difference between anger and empathy, use your dictionary.

  43. InTheRoom says:

    So many e-mails were presented at trial that were either sent directly to or copied to Mr. Stinn. And, from the markings on the documents, you could see from who’s files they were obtained. Many were from his files. We found it curious that there were no outgoing e-mails from Mr. Stinn. If there were any to proclaim that he was telling his staff to stop what they were doing, then the defense should have entered them into evidence to counter the fact that he was receiving so much damning correspondence. Defense team could not have been so blind or naiive about that evidence. Or maybe I am giving them too much credit!

  44. inner person says:

    Brad did not use emails – only received them, never sent them so that should satisfy your curiosity. Brad did all of his communication vis a vie by phone or in person.

  45. dont understand says:

    inner person what are you trying to prove by saying he dosent send emails. Explain if you would want. thanks.

  46. inner person says:

    I am not trying to prove anything other than he didn’t use his computer to communicate. I worked there for seven and a half years and only communicated with him by phone or face to face and he communicated the same way with others on the executive team. It has been mentioned that it was curious that there were no outgoing emails from Brad, well it is not curious to me. That is what I mean by saying you would have had to work there. All other opinions are speculations and assumptions.

  47. InTheRoom says:

    So much wasted time having face-to-face meetings or conducting phone calls….or was he trying to hide a paper trail? It is still curious that the CEO of a growing/flourishing business would not save at least some time by sending out e-mails.

  48. inner person says:

    I hestitated to say this but it is my opinion that Brad was not comfortable using the computer and was not as computer savy as one might presume for a person in that position. I do not believe it was intentionally done to hide a paper trail since he did print out the damaging emails sent to him and filed them. If he was attempting to hide a paper trail, why save those emails? Just a question.

  49. curious says:

    what were those damaging emails specifically about? does anyone know?

  50. inner person says:

    You would have to ask the jurors who have responded on this site. They have stated they based their conclusions on the emails that were presented by the prosecution. I would rather not go into any more specifics but I am sure the jurors would answer your question since they made the final judgment.

  51. johnny says:

    I KNEW BRAD DURING HIS CHILDHOOD AND HIGH SCHOOL YEARS; WE GREW UP TOGETHER, SAME NEIGHBORHOOD AND THE SAME SCHOOLS. BRAD STARTED OUT AS A GOOD FRIEND, WE WALKED HOME AFTER SCHOOL, PLAYED FOOTBALL, AND HUNG OUT TOGETHER. IN 1976 I NOTICED A REAL NEGATIVE CHANGE IN BRAD WHILE WE WERE ATTENDING A CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL. BRAD WAS BLESSED WITH SIZE AND PHYSICAL TALENT WHILE ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD, I BELIEVE THAT HIS “SPORTS POPULARITY” CHANGED THE WAY HE VIEWED HIMSELF. BRAD STARTED TO BELIEVE THAT HE WAS SUPERIOR TO OTHERS, THAT HE WAS OWED RECOGNITION AND ADMIRATION. I WATCHED BRAD LOSE HIS MORAL FIBER, HE LIED, AND MOCKED THE LESS FORTUNATE. BRAD’S DOWNFALL COULD BE A RESULT OF HIS INFLATED FALSE EGO AND HIS SELFISH PURSUIT OF MATERIALISM. BRAD SHOULD HAVE LEARNED DURING HIS CATHOLIC EDUCATION THAT ‘GREED IS NEVER GOOD’. I FEEL BAD FOR BRAD’S FAMILY AND THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN NEGATIVELY AFFECTED BY HIS SELFISH ACTIONS.

  52. No name says:

    I’ve know Brad Stinn for a long time and am still close to him. He is a great great great great great person and always will be. I have the most respect for him. Johnny I wish you saw what I saw in Brad.

  53. For those of you who know Brad (I do not) is he prepared for his sentence and does he need any support through the process. While I write about white collar crime, I often find myself providing counsel for those convicted. Not only will he need support for what he faces, but his family needs that as well. Life, as they have known it, will change with a prison sentence.

  54. inner person says:

    I would suspect that Brad will feel that his appeal (if he choses to go that route) will exonerate him of all charges. I really do not believe that the enormity of what has happened has really “sunk in”. Do I think he will need help? I do, but the bigger question is will he accept it. I don’t think so. Brad will begin his sentence still maintaining that he had no knowledge of the improprieties. I wonder if he really understands what he did or if he ever will.

    An earlier post said that Brad changed and felt superior to people less fortunate. I saw Brad interface with the “lower level employees” and never saw that. I saw a man who was driven and understood that the little people were there to make his numbers and treated them respectfully. What went on internally, noone will ever know but Brad.

    I believe if you, Mr. Gallagher, have counseled others based on your own personal experience, you might want to give it a try. I agree with you, their lives have changed forever. There is no going back.

  55. I am certainly open to that, however, you make a valid point and something that I’ve experienced when counseling others – if you feel you are a victim, you will have a far more difficult time moving through the issue that if you learn to see reality and accept responsibility for your part in the problem.

    I can’t speak to where Stinn is at this time. But, rarely does one get convicted (at least these days) and be completely and totally innocent. In Stinn’s position, he has to accept accountability for running the company and the issues that cost so many people so much.

    As a sales VP in a public company, I know that the numbers are important – every quarter they are important – but, there are higher standards that we must abide by. It is NOT all about the numbers.

    I am open to helping Stinn if he seeks help.

  56. Supporter says:

    I know Brad and I think the jury got it wrong Brad is an honest man and would have confessed when Vic got caught that he was a part of this. You might not know this but Brad’s case has been dropped a couple times for lack of evidence. Brad is not guilty and hopefully appeal will brign out the truth

  57. Also in the Room says:

    I don’t know Brad. But I know that he is NOT GUILTY. You all should not forget one juror had not found him guilty.

  58. InTheRoom says:

    Unless you are that one juror who refused to vote guilty, you have no idea what happened in the jury room. And if you ARE that juror, then I hope you can live with yourself and your pre-conceived notions and closed mind.

  59. That's Just Me Tho says:

    Chuck,
    I just gotta say – your offer to help seems ridiculous. Do you charge a fee for your “help”? There’s something that just doesn’t ring true when you run a headline on your blog, invite discourse, stir the pot, and then offer to step in and help Mr. Stinn and his family. Do people come to you for help after you’ve made them the subject of one of your blogs and provided a forum for mean comments, rumors and speculation? It’s one thing to blog, it’s another to blog and then offer to help. Hopefully people will seek help from a person who is objective and not trying to prosper from other people’s problems.

  60. I write and speak about white collar crime, fraud and business ethics. I remind people that every choice has a consequence. I do that from a position of concern for others so that they don’t make the same mistakes I did and end up in federal prison.

    Since I’ve been there, I know what it is like to go through a trial, wait for sentencing and take those first steps into prison. It’s no fun and painful for all.

    So that you’re clear from your misguided interpretations – I DO NOT CHARGE TO CONSULT WITH PEOPLE who are facing a trial, sentencing hearing or prison. That is done free of charge and is my way of paying it forward.

    95% of the time there is no offer for help. Some seek it on their own, but I do not contact the people who are the subjects of my blogs and the folks who are those subjects likely have been indicted, convicted or sentenced.

    I was moved here by the sheer number of people who spoke highly of Mr. Stinn and felt that an offer was in order. If that displeases you, I’m sorry. No harm was intended and I am doubtful that it would be accepted anyway.

    One thing I do know, I would have loved to have someone who has been there to talk to when I was facing sentencing and more importantly prison. So, if I can help others, so be it. I’ll take the criticism – it’s part of life.

  61. it's almost laughable says:

    I guess I am kind of stunned. All this concern and help offering for someone that has destroyed thousands of people’s lives. Believe me, this man is savy. I’m sure he has money and assets hidden…ie…other names, foreign accounts. He and his family are set for the rest of their lives. No help needed for them. How about helping some of the people he wronged? Small as this issue may be to you and the “inner circle” …the little people can’t pay their bills now. Hey Mr. Stinn, want to offer to make my rent for me? I didn’t think so. As far as him treating the “lower level” employees well…that is an out right lie. Actions speak louder than words. His actions has left us without jobs. How will I feed my child?? He’s a thief. He deserves jail time.

  62. inner person says:

    To “It’s almost laughable Says:” I was an inner person and noone paid my bills, I worked got paid a fair salary and invested wisely. You are placing the blame on Brad for the company going out of business. I beg to differ. Friedman’s went out of business due to the corporate greed of the new management regime after Brad left. Sam Cusano and his crew raped the company’s finances with perks, bonuses and you name it. The same thing happened at Service Merchandise. For those of you who thought he was going to lead you to the promised land I feel sorry for you. What he and his management team did was just as serious as what Brad, Vic and John did.

    Brad, Vic and John will pay for their mistakes; will the new regime pay for theirs or is Sam back in Florida enjoying his vacation home and leading the good life while over 3,000 people are now out of work and the investors have lost money. This is what isn’t fair.

  63. agrre says:

    Couldnt agrre with you any more. Except the fact that you think Brad was involved wiht this scandal.

  64. Been There - Have you? says:

    I am a former employee of Friedman’s Jewelers corporate office and can tell you first hand that there were a lot of crooked things going on in BOTH the Stinn and Cusano era, it’s just that Cusano stayed well within the law with the decisions he made.

    With that said, lets continue. While under operation of Stinn, I know for a fact that that the company misrepresented numbers by simply not reporting until the current fiscal year was over so that they could make the numbers in that fiscal year, create the budget for the next, and let the untold number carry over into a new fiscal year. AND IT WAS DONE KNOWINGLY! Only a matter of time before something like that catches up with you. I also know that it was EASY for customers to start a new credit account even if they already owed on an account. In their system, you could find as many as 3 or 4 accounts beonging to one person, all with a balance. You would also be surprised as to how many RETURNED CHECKS came through that office EVERY DAY! Not to mention how Stinn used Friedman’s to finance Cresent Jewelers, a chain he also ran. That’s is just a tip of the iceberg.

    If a low-life (That’s how employees are treated!) footstool of a worker noticed some of these things going on in that company, how could it be invisible to the CEO? The so called “scandal” was not something that Vic Suglia and John Mauro plotted over a steak-n-lobster dinner. This was done in board meetings. The Chairman: Brad Stinn.

    By-the-way, I do believe the person who is really suffering is John Mauro. I have the feeling he was either bullied into it by Suglia and Stinn, or received a sharp one in the back. Stinn is getting what he worked for. I’ll discuss the Cusano era in the next post.

  65. Been There - Have you? says:

    By the time Cusano came to Friedman’s, it was already clear the direction the company was going, so a lot of what happened next was of no surprise. In fact, giving Cusano and company’s history, I gave his regime a fitting name: The Close-out Crew.

    Honestly, I do believe Cusano tried to save the company at first. Policies were finally enforced for one thing. That being done, you could begin to understand why Stinn’s crew misrepresented. Two new departments were formed, Credit collections and more importantly, Credit Authorizations. These were successful and kick behind departments to say the least. Credit checks were ALWAYS performed and no one could receive a credit account before going to Authorizations first. If it was revealed that you had a bad payment history, you were either required to make a LARGE down payment on merchandise, or you were refused. Stores started complaining about this in that they couldn’t make sales, but Authorizations was about making money and collections was about getting money. Great combo.

    But, as the TRUE numbers were beginning to be reported and things were beginning to fall (And I stress fall) into place, it was apparent that the company was in serious trouble. Cusano filed for Chapter 11, and I think he still believed that the company could be saved. Then it started.

    The purpose for going into Bankruptcy was to restructure the company. They used the bankruptcy mainly to get out of bad leases and secure financing for the company. But it was at this time that customer refund checks and even employee payroll checks bounced a few times. Spending was virtually cut out. Tight budgets were put in place. Even in all this, employess were still given raises, as Cusano gave his word it would happen. The company weas able to emerge from bankruptcy with $125 million of financing in place and was running about 250 stores lighter. Down to about 500 from around 750 as they weeded out stores that made no money. However, there was one thing about the filing bankruptcy that did not sit well. Just 2 days after an all employee meeting stating they were not going to file, they did. And they announced it over a conference call in which EVERY employee attended. Enter: Pam Romano.

    In the process, a new President was hired. Pam Romano. The stuff then hit the fan. I’ll make it short. This woman did not like it in the low country of Savannah, GA and had to fly home every week. She also had to have a limo ride from here hotel suite to and from work. She wanted to be in TX so bad, she fired every single employee in Savannah, but not before opening a new facility in Addison, TX, flying and housing nearly all employee’s hired there to Savannah to seep our knowledge (That’s after calling us morons by the way) and forcing some of the Savannah employees to fly to TX for that same reason. Oh wait, they did offer incentives to employee’s who stayed on and “helped” during the move. It turns out that move costed much more than anticipated, and now the entire company has payed the price. While I can’t fairly blame it all on Romano, she was a big part of it all.

    While Stinn did leave the company in shambles, Cusano and Romano didn’t do the best job either. Either way, the company is gone and Stinn is convicted. After all, he did break the law. Romano just spent all the money.

  66. Supporter says:

    Brad Stinn was convicted but hopefully justice will serve him and he will win his appeal.

  67. inner person says:

    Couldn’t have said it any better; don’t know who you are but everything you stated is unfortunately true. As far as John Mauro, I do believe he was lured, not forced. Brad and Vic were very persuasive. John is a big boy who should know right from wrong and made the wrong decision. The original CFO was fired in 1996 because he refused to “cook the books.” Bet a lot of you out there don’t know that. He made the right choice, landed on his feet in a much better position.

  68. Been There - Have you? says:

    To all that support Brad: Don’t forget that he was the Chairman of the Board and he knew ALL the things that were going on in that company. It was his RESPONSIBILITY to address ANYTHING that was crooked or unlawful. If Vic is really the ONLY person to blame, shouldn’t Stinn have had him kicked off of the board if he made desicions that went against the better interests of the company? Because he failed to do that, he broke the law in the most simple way. Please, get real.

  69. No Name says:

    This seems hard to believe for a lot of you, but Brad did not know Vic was doing this and if he did Vic would have been meet.

    • Jack D. says:

      Not true. Brad was wielding the power… do it his way, or be bounced out. Nothing would have happened were it not for Brad.

  70. oh my gosh says:

    Give me a break, been there and you are in la la land.

  71. one more ex.. says:

    “oh my gosh”….unless you were an employee as “been there” was (as well as myself), he or she has hit the nail on the head, so please speak in facts and not revert to children’s name calling. All items mentioned in “been there’s” comments are factual, not speculative. I was there in Savannah for 6 years, through the growth, through the decline, through the Ch 11 filing. I got out of there just before emergence because I was frankly worn out. It really bothered me to leave my employees (whom I cared about), but it was obvious to all of us that it was a matter of time before the doors were closed for good. I cared about that company and about the employees but we all knew the company was just spinning its wheels. Unfortunately, it became almost a joke to go to work each day; you never knew what new “consultant” would be there or what “exec” would not. Any bankruptcy is hard for a company, but the morale in the home office was so demoralizing and so negative, its amazing that much of anything of importance got done most days. While I am not bitter toward the company nor any of its former executives, I do have first hand knowledge of the questionable credit practices that went on. Do I think Stinn had some knowledge of the “scooping”? I know for a fact he did. The issue is….he had the authority to stop it, but he didn’t. But, as we’ve all seen, he wasn’t the only one involved. Suglia has just as much blame as he was intimately involved with the numbers, being the CFO. John had knowledge of it too, but he was a “do-er” not a “decider” (again, first hand knowledge). Unfortunately, he was (and still is) a good man that got caught up in the rest of this mess. We can all question what “should have” been done by any of these men, but what “should have been” done and what “was” done are two different things.

    I did not know Brad on a personal level so I cannot speak to his character as so many of you have; both good and bad. But the fact is he got his hand caught in the cookie jar. I’m sure he’s a fine husband, father, and friend. I wish him the best in prison. But good people get in trouble just like the bad guys do. For Suglia and John, I did know them (moreso John than Vic) and I do know they are both good men. But as I said, good people get in trouble too. As I see it, this is finally closure to a long chapter in corporate greed.

    To “been there”, I’m sure we’ve had a beer together at some point don’t you think? But thanks for the straightforward writeup.

  72. inner person says:

    To one more ex says: Yes I am sure we have also shared a drink at Malones the favorite after work hangout. I struggled, just like you. Left after 7 years, couldn’t take it any more especially when Doug Anderson came in. He was the worse, even more so than the regime that followed. Thank God I wasn’t there for the Sam era.

    Like you, I cared about the company and the employees. Worked very hard sacrificing family obligations putting the company first. Am I looking for a thank you, no, those are choices that I made to do the best job I could.

    Agree with you about John. He isn’t a “decider”, he followed and did what he was told. BUT, there comes a point in time when you don’t compromise right and wrong and unfortunately, he went along. Corporate Greed is the keyword here. Shame.

  73. Curious says:

    Does anyone know when he will be sentenced?

  74. InTheRoom says:

    At this point, according to news articles, Mr. Stinn’s sentencing is set for July 9th. Mr. Suglia and Mr. Mauro’s dates will follow Mr. Stinn’s.

  75. Bob says:

    (Checking calendar) Hmmm, I’ll have to move a couple of appointments around, but I’ll be there. Watching that smirk finally get wiped off his face will certainly be worth the price of a ticket.

    Who’s the “endangered species” now, Brad?

  76. Mike Lepper says:

    TRAGIC!

    The entire matter is a true tragedy with a sad ending. I have been in the jewelry business all of my life and worked for several years at Friedman’s. I did know all the players. I was on a first name basis with Brad, Vic, John, and many, many people at Friedman’s and Crescent.

    I started with Friedman’s as Regional Vice President of the Midwest Division and later moved to the Home Office as Corporate Vice President of Operations/Administration,
    served as President of the Opportunity Division, Vice President of Special Events, and served on the MMC (Merchandise and Marketing Committee) in addition to Training, Motivational Meetings, the creation and roll out of PMA, AMA, and the Watch Service Plan.

    I was present for all of those famous “Monday Calls” and was the person in charge of the Daily Emails to the stores.

    Many very fine PEOPLE worked at Friedman’s. Many fine CUSTOMER’S shopped at Friedman’s. Many fine VENDOR’S sold to Friedman’s. Many fine INVESTORS invested in Friedman’s. Many fine BANKER’S trusted in Friedman’s. It’s tragic for all of them, for all of US.

    Brad Stinn was a smart, good looking, Harvard grad. A man that was blessed in so many ways, a lucky man. God spent extra time on Brad, a smile to die for, a body to wish for, a brain to be appreciated, you name it, contacts and connections that every business person would treasure, Brad had it all, a good education, a pretty wife, cute kid’s, rich Dad, all in addition to being the partiarch of the third largest jewelry chain in the country, perhaps the world. TRAGIC!

    Me, like to many others, had a lot of stock, stakeholders in Friedman’s, we owned a lot of HARD EARNED Friedman’s stock. When it hit the fan, we were LOCKED OUT FROM SELLING. And now it’s gone, worthless, the way so many of us felt treated in the end. (read between the lines) TRAGIC INDEED! And, for those of us, like myself, who invested deep in Friedman’s stock, while working a “million” hours a year, only to loose every dime…..TRAGIC!

    GOOD PEOPLE GONE…..TRAGIC!
    JOBS GONE…..TRAGIC!
    CUSTOMER’S UPSET AND MISTREATED……TRAGIC!
    BANK WRITE OFF’S…….TRAGIC!
    VENDOR’S HURTING, SOME BROKE……TRAGIC!
    INVESTOR’S ‘BEAT OUT’……..TRAGIC!

    We had a little joke about those accounts. We said that when our credit customers died we wanted to be pallbearers at their funeral. We had carried them all their life, we wanted to finish the job.

    Many of us at Friedman’s WANTED TO FINISH THE JOB! TRAGIC!

    Mike Lepper
    Savannah, Georgia

  77. WOW says:

    Bob do you have lots of anger in your life? Cause you seem disappointed.

  78. James says:

    Mike Lepper’s entry was very touching and to the point. He is a man who has been wounded by Stinn’s crimes and has seen the damage to others. All of you who defend Brad should be ashamed after reading this. This was not Brad’s first dishonest or unethical behavior. He was fired from an investment bank for trying “to do business on the side”. This is a fact widely known and discussed in S.F.. Stop defending this smarmy little creep and start caring about his victims.

  79. gone but not forgotten says:

    Mike Lepper…..I don’t know how you can be believed when you don’t get some of the simplest facts correct…His dad rich? Do you even know his Dad? Very nice and touching indeed, but written to make yourself feel better…..and James, Fired from another investment bank???? ok James….if this is indeed the truth you have been handed then give the specifics…..Once everyone realized you are blowing smoke because you just talk a big talk, I will be able to provide the readers with real truths and facts. Oh, and James, we know each other…..why not tell everyone who you REALLY are and why you are writing in this blog.

  80. inner person says:

    To gone but not forgotten: Since you seem to have so many details, why is it predicated on James revealing his identity? Speak up if you have something worthwhile to say otherwise, why are you writing on this blog?????

  81. Mike Lepper says:

    To gone but not forgotten: You said above “I don’t know how you can be believed when you don’t get some of the simplest facts correct” Trust me I got the facts straight. It’s YOU…Mr. “gone but not forgotten” who does not provide his/her name.
    You hide behind a SECRET NAME on these emails. I know many of the people who lost jobs/careers/investments, what’s your connection? How do you know so much?

    Gone But Not Forgotten: You go on to say “Very nice and touching indeed, but written to make yourself (myself) feel better” Well, heads up, IT WAS NOT NICE, IT WAS CUTTING, NOT TOUCHING, and the entire matter did not make me feel better.
    Your rude and uncaring remark would get your ass kicked in a good Irish bar!
    YOU are a cutting, uncaring person and I would not wish the depression and/or disappointment that SO MANY felt to infest your soul, if you have one. You may get a dose (e.g. KARMA) I don’t know who you are, you HIDE behind a pen name, but I provided my true name and I know I don’t like you! By the way, I did like Brad Stinn, and again I say TRAGIC! I liked Vic and John too, so TRAGIC! We were all HARD WORKING GOOD PEOPLE, some made some mistakes that COST SO MANY SO MUCH, TRAGIC!

    To JAMES: Thank you for your kind and understanding comments above regrarding my opinion and experience. You are correct, I am wounded (angry and hurt too) as were so many, and I feel for all those that lost so much. EVERYONE LOST…..it was indeed TRAGIC!

    Mike Lepper
    Savannah, Georgia

  82. inner person says:

    All of you who profess to be “in the know” but really aren’t, shame on all of you for criticizing Mike’s remarks. I know Mike and what he has stated on this board is indeed accurate and first-hand knowledge. The only piece missing for Mike is he wasn’t around when it started in 1996, I was and few remember that the CFO was terminated for refusing to participate in Brad’s scheme. Neither Vic, nor John were there either. The indiscretions went on for many years before the bottom fell out.

    Let’s look at this matter objectively and finally realize that a jury does not come in with a guilty verdict unless there is evidence to support that verdict and, in this case, there was plenty of evidence.

    These three culprits need to move on, accept the ruling and pay their debt to society and live with the damage that has been done to so many innocent people. For those of you who are emotionally involved as Brad’s friends, if you really are his friend, help them to move on, support him and his family and stop this nonsense. They need to face the future and you do not need to “fan the fire” of his innocence.

  83. just a thought? says:

    Im just wonder why, If Brad was doing a crime dont you think he would have sold his stock and made millions before he was caught so his family was set for life. But no he didnt because he had no clue this was going on. If you say hes an intelligent man (mike) why didnt he sell his stock? Its the smartest thing to do right? He didnt sell his stock becasue he didnt know what was going on. Brad Stinn lost a lot of money too.

  84. inner person says:

    To just a thought: First of all, you only show your ignorance when you make statements regarding if Brad knew what was going on he would have sold his stocks?

    Stock prices began decreasing way before the bottom fell out. Brad’s stock options were worth more than the stock price, so why would he sell? Further, that’s insider trading, have you ever heard of that????? I had options that were worthless, averaging between $17.00 to $22.00 per share. When I left the stock price was under $10.00 and that was in 2002. Hello??? Did I make any money on my options, no of course not. They weren’t worth the paper they were printed on.

    You people just don’t get it. I have said this numerous times. Unless you worked there and was on the executive team, you do not have a clue about anything and all of your posts are speculative.

  85. wow says:

    He never ever sold stock. He was for everyone not for himself. Your thoughts might be different, but those are mine.

  86. WOW2 says:

    I tottaly agree with you (wow). I also think Brad is a lot lot closer to a saint then a sinner.

  87. Bob says:

    “He was for everyone not for himself”

    <>

  88. InTheRoom says:

    I wouldn’t have exercised my options either if they were worth less than the stock price! I’m not employed in the investment world and have just enough knowledge to manage my own money, but even I know you don’t get rid of something for less than it is worth.

    Bob- not even ever hearing him speak and, I am sure, following legal advice to not react to whatever was said in the courtroom, I did notice the facial expression to which you were referring.

  89. Matthew Flanagan says:

    I worked for Brad Stinn For 6 years and he always seemed dirty to me. Now he and my x-wife (gisella ruis-gorman) Own an Hispanic based jewelry store in Fresno Ca. called
    Encanto Fine Jewelry. Now that all the crescent employees(moore than 2000) are out of a job in this already hurting economy I don’t think there should be any leniency for the suffering of all the family’s that Bradly J Stinn has put in danger and they will feel the affects for years to come. What a self-absorbed jerk!!!

  90. Supporter says:

    Gisella and Brad are both wonderful people.

    Thanks for the nasty coments.

  91. Brad Stinn is a great person says:

    Ive known Brad for a long time and want to let everyone know what a great great great human being he is. He si a great father to his kids and a great husband to his wife. Just ask them, they will tell you. His three kids are very piolite and beautiful kids and his wife is a beautiful and caring person. Brad has positivly affected so many lives while he was on eath it is a shame what people are saying about him and falsly accusing him about. Please keep this man in your prayers.

  92. Friend says:

    The thing that pisses me off the most is that Brad Stinn worked his ASS of to get what he had he didnt win the lottery one day ad decide to buy a company. He was a hard working man and still is today. The worlds a bad place for the good guys.

  93. Bob says:

    +++ “Ive known Brad for a long time and want to let everyone know what a great great great human being he is” +++

    I’ve known Brad for over 20 years. I also know…

    It’s not “great” to steal from investors.
    It’s not “great” to lie under oath.
    It’s not “great” to put thousands out of work.
    It’s not “great” to ruin careers and jeopardize retirement nest eggs.
    It’s not “great” to leave vendors holding the bag for millions.

    This criminal has ruined lives, stolen money and maintained that nasty little smirk throughout it all. Let’s see how “great, great, great” he is in prison.

    And you might pause for a moment and stop thinking about how “great” Brad’s been to you, and think of the damage he’s done to others.

    Good riddance Brad Stinn.

  94. insider says:

    Bob if I may reply to you. I worked at Friedman’s for many years in an executive capacity. Your comments may be on point but you need to rise above your anger and while you are thinking about all of the adversity, think about his family and how they must be struggling with all of this. Yes many people have been hurt financially as well as feeling betrayed. He has been judged and remember, “judge not yet ye shall be judged.” I believe, in the final analysis, how we judge people is how we will be judged. Get over your anger and leave this matter in the hands of the judge who will be pronouncing his sentence in July. You know, we never know the true motives and complexities of the situation. The jury ruled that Brad did commit some indiscretions but was not aware of others. Blame the CFO and controller as well and know that they too will suffer the consequences.

  95. InTheRoom says:

    All three will suffer their respective consequences in just a few short weeks.

  96. supporter No. 50,000 says:

    He did not LIE under oath. Brad Stinn is an ethical man who knows what he did, wich was not criminal. Hopefully the judge in the appeal will over turn the decision that was made in the judicial system.

  97. court observer says:

    Inner Person and InTheRoom,

    I am confused by your comments regarding Brad’s decision to never sell a single share of his Friedman’s stock (he exercised by purchasing shares but not selling them). Brad was with Friedman’s for almost 10 years: are you suggesting that the stock price never went up, and that Brad never had the opportunity to realize a profit by selling his stock.

    Also, if Brad was aware of the company’s serious financial condition, then why would he be purchasing stock right up until the end. During the trial the prosecutors had a very difficult time proving a financial motive..they finally landed on his relatively modest salary and bonus, and played up some tax gross up that relieved him of tax liability. While his total income was somwhat sizeable, it was hardly anything to risk prison over. And it just doesn’t make sense that he never sold any stock if he knew the company was going down (and the insider trading suggestion doesnt’ make sense if he is supposedly already so corrupt..to be cited for insider trading the knowledge of the company’s shaky financial condition would have to become public..this would not have applied 1,2,3, years before the revelation of Vic’s bribery scheme).

  98. InTheRoom says:

    It was not meant to be implied that Mr. Stinn never sold ANY stock along the way during his tenure. However, once everything started to go south financially, he was left with an amount of stock/stock options that he did not sell/exercise. Three months have, fortunately for me, removed any exact numbers of said stock from my mind, so I cannot expound further as to the extent of monetary loss that he suffered. However, the fact that he was left holding on to it was actually brought up by his defense attorney.

  99. gone but not forgotten says:

    Brad was convicted of something that wasn’t on the indictement….LOOPHOLE…that is why his sentencing is not being held on the date it was assigned…it is being postponed. Case will be thrown out…Prosecutors were looking to make a name for themselves and they were sloppy.

  100. insider says:

    Where are you getting your information since it is nowhere on the internet. What was he convicted on that wasn’t in the indicetment? This is very interesting turn of events in Brad’s favor.

  101. gone but not forgotten says:

    Getting my info from sitting in the courtoom and hearing what the charges brought up against him were and the final verdict…which was a mismatch..you could smell “mistrial” after the verdict was read. If I could invest in this decision, I would be a very rich person.

  102. insider says:

    So what you are saying is Brad will get off. Where would this leave Vic and John?

  103. gone but not forgotten says:

    I don’t know if Brad will get off. Someone is going to jail and Brad, Vic and the others all have a part in this..some to a greater degree. Brad can easily indicte Sterling with info that he has. He was trying to take the high road and thought he could beat the trial, which by the way, had never been brought to trial because there was a lack of evidence to convict. Prosecution went for the jugular and the jurors bought into their scheme to convict “someone” for the wrongdoings at Friedmans. Brad was the obvious target.

  104. Disgusted says:

    “Brad was the obvious target.” They convicted Brad because he had to know. Right? They had no evidence. He was convicted because he was the CEO and had to know, not because he is a criminal. He had criminals working for him and didn’t know it till they got caught red handed.

  105. Ex Old Time Employee says:

    Hey Disgusted. I’ve known Stinn for a really long time, and he was a heartless ruthless individual who would do anything for a buck in his own pocket. There was not a single money matter that went down without his approval…If he had criminals working for him, it was because he hired them, and told them what to do.

  106. FormerFRDMExec says:

    It seems as if the Stinn defenders are primarily friends/family etc. while the detractors are largely ex-Friedman’s employees. I fall into the latter group. I was never “friendly” with Brad, I found him arrogant, egotistical, and genuinely convinced of his own superiority.

    Brad orchestrated nearly everything that went on at Friedman’s. I have no clue what Sterling did or didn’t know… Brad thought Sterling was a dolt, but there is no question in my mind that Brad knew very clearly what was going on. Vic, for all his faults, never did anything without Brad’s direction. And really, you didn’t need to be a genius to know something wasn’t kosher. I left the company after a short time and wrote a letter to the SEC concerning what I saw as malfeasance regarding the financial reporting.

    A lot of people have been hurt by the situation at Friedman’s, Brad included, but the differrence is that Brad, primarily, was the one who caused the pain.

  107. Jane Jackson says:

    I am curious why all the ex-employees are not mad at the CFO and the other admitted crook.
    Yes, “crook” – These two officers of the company (the hands on the money officers) admitted that
    they committed the crime and Mr. Stinn only became a suspect after these two crooks bargained
    for a lesser/no sentence by saying that he was the crook – is there something wrong with that
    picture……….At any rate, I only hope that he can profit from his alleged crime as much as you
    have Mr. Gallagher……….

  108. Ex Old Time Employee says:

    You had to know Brad to fully appreciate his narcissism. I first met him a long time ago and was always amazed at his arrogance. and disregard for his employees. He ran both Crescent and Freidman’s and again, if you actually worked directly with him, you new that he called all the money shots. This is why the ex-employees are as not mad at the other officers…disgusted, yes, glad they are getting their just due, yes, But Stinn and his Morgan Schiff boys always set all the policies. The other officers were just 2 greedy morons who followed him, hoping to get rich.

  109. Supporter no. 4,000 says:

    Jane Jackson right on! Couldnt agree with you more. This whole thing is a mess and Brad is getting screwed

  110. parenting question says:

    What’s the message from this mess ? Is it that Brad is completely innocent and, even before a US court of law, subject to the whims of Judges, Jurors, ex-Employees, and Investigators ?

    That’s a lot of people, most who are probably professional and not given to careless judgement.

    What do we tell our teens ? That the law lied and a completely innocent man might go to jail ? That Brad was wronged, and wronged so cleverly that he could offer no convincing defense ?

    It’s always the denial that bites the butt. Are we helping or hurting by our blind support ?

  111. worked for brad says:

    Parenting question if you think brad is innocent I would hate to see the things you think are ok,and if you are teaching your children that a self centered crook is being treated unfairly then I can see where the next generation of cheats and crooks are being trained I saw first hand what that waste of skin was capable of and how his greed affected many families ie loss of jobs and bankrupting a company that supported hundreds of people his actions will continue too have a negative effect for years too come on not just people that worked for crescents and friedmans but the vendors and clients.

  112. I worked there when it was still owned by the Grabers who started Crescents. I also was there when Brad came in. I knew then that the company was in for a hugh down fall if Brad was to take over…… I see now that my thoughts from years ago has come true and that Brad did do not only one companies name down but also that of Crescent Jewelers.

  113. parenting question says:

    worked for Brad –

    you read my post from the wrong angle.

  114. Parenting I apologize if I did not see your post from the proper angle,Please dont take it personal,I saw another referrencing Brad as a great parent and husband and mostly responded to that blog..

  115. Why the confusion says:

    I worked for Friedman’s for over 15 years and chose to leave the Company because I knew what was coming. Hourly associates making $ 6.00 an hour knew what was coming. You will never convince me that the CEO of the Company did not know what was going on. Give me a break !! We would see accounts on the “charge off” list every month that had supposedly been charged off in prior months and just showed back up again and again and again.

    Sadly, the people who helped build the company from 42 stores to over 700 were pretty much buried as negative and not promotable if we ever brought up anything about what we could see was going on. And we were left out of making bonuses because there was no way to make a collection goal at times when the “X-files” kept showing up.

    We would work accounts all month long and at the last minute before month end we would be told that we did not collect enough so the chargeoff would not happen and we had one more week to make our goals or would be subject to disciplinary action if we did not make the goal. Are you telling me that the CEO who controlled everything and was on the Monday calls when we talked about it was not aware that we were holding off on the charge off ?? He instructed the hold off !!

    We would be instructed to “rewrite” accounts to bring them current and at times you would see an account that had been rewritten several times and would be aproved again. Heck, we would rewrite an account to bring it current and then resell the customer something the next month. Are you telling me that he did not know this was going on ??

    If your answer is Yes to any of the above, you should not vote again in a presidential campaign to help decide who will lead our country.

  116. exfriedmanemployee2 says:

    I recently heard a rumor that Brad’s sentencing has been delayed yet one more time. Has anyone heard anything?

    This whole mess needs to be over – serve his time behind bars – give him time to reflect on the pain he has caused everyone and hopefully he will learn to appreciate the basic values in life.

  117. braddsttinn says:

    i am a teenage girl who knows brad as a family friend
    i have followed his case closely and i know that he is not guilty
    stop being mean to him and you know that his family could read this
    how would you feel if your dad got a reputation like this?

  118. Alternate view says:

    to the previous poster who knows Stinn as a family friend, I am sorry for you and the Stinn family. For me as an alternate juror, (and for the other jurors) it was sad to see his wife and daughters for seven weeks in the courtroom knowing that their lives would never be the same.

    The laws in question, Sarbanes Oxley increases penalties and responsibility of the CEO, were passed in order to protect investors.
    http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=107_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ204.107

    An investor, like an individual or foundation or retirement fund, is relying on data provided in prospecti, 10-ks, 10qs and other SEC filings. If this data is deliberately misleading, then the officers of the corporation who prepared and certified those filings are deliberately misleading investors.

    The jury made their decision based on internal documents, transcripts of internal conversations, and lots and lots of SEC filings. Unless you were privy to internal and confidential documents, or read the 10k’s 10q’s and 8k’s filed between 2001 and 2003, or sat in the courtroom for seven weeks, there is no way for you to know what really went on. The deliberating jurors did not take the case lightly, and spent days in deliberation going over the evidence.

    Many people lost their jobs; and others who had trusted the officers of Friedman with their investments lost their money.

  119. Amazed says:

    I also hears an account saying many jurors had there eyes closed in the courtroom. That sounds like it was done justly. Right??

  120. exfriedmanemployee2 says:

    I am also sorry for the personal friends of the Stinn family. I am sure his wife and children are going through pure hell. Their lives will never be the same. But for those of us that worked at Friedman’s and are victims of his lies, please feel sorry for us. We also went through hell. I personally have direct knowledge of the 10k’s and the falsified documents. I lost my job and my savings with the stock failure along with many good people. We have had to rebuild our careers and for some that moved to Dallas the price is even higher. Feel sorry for Brad, absolutely not. For his wife and children, definately.

  121. Ex Old Time Employee says:

    Does any one know when this theif is getting sentenced?

  122. Are you kidding me? says:

    January 29.

  123. Ex Friedman's Employee 7 says:

    Brad, Vic, and John ALL CROOKS!!!!!! Too bad Bob Morris wasn’t listed. How the heck did he manage that?!

    I hope they all 3 get the maximum sentence! I think all of us ex employee’s should be compensated by fines that must be paid by Brad, Vic, John AND BOB!

    What a nice Christmas “bonus” that would be!

    The day of the sentencing is the day I go back to drinking for a day!

  124. Another Ex says:

    I heard a rumor that Stinn might skate. Something about the counts he was convicted of were not in the original indictment?

  125. exfriedmanemployee2 says:

    The latest rumor I heard is a sentencing delay.

  126. concerned says:

    Does anyone know when John Mauro is getting sentenced? or is he not going to have to do any time in jail?

  127. X-EMPLOYEE says:

    I worked for Crescent Jewelers for 20 years. You would be foolish to think that Brad had no knowledge of what was going on. I was on those conference calls. I was belittled and ridiculed by Brad regarding my P&L. He had first hand knowledged of all accounts. He studied the books without fail. This information was not fed to him by a cronie. I am some what confused as I am told that Brad has a new business in Calif. A JEWELERY store!!! How is this possible? … Unless he made his millions selling cars before he got to Friedmans/Crescents where did the money to fund this business come from? This is yet another slap in the face to each and every former employee who lost a job, career, and family of friends that we worked with for so many years. What did he loose? Apparently nothing!! He is not in jail. He has a new business. Obviously he is allowed to travel the country….. so tell me …. where is the justice in all this?

  128. sharehldr2000 says:

    Sentencing for all has been delayed until Feb 20.

  129. PISSED OFF AND PISSED ON says:

    BRAD STINN HMMM??? B.S. IT’S ALL IN THE NAME!

  130. Seeking Justice says:

    Anyone know what happened on the 20th?

    Another delay?

  131. exfriedmanemployee2 says:

    No sentencing – Judge is ill.

  132. ATL says:

    Any update on the sentencing of Brad Stinn?

  133. ski889 says:

    Click on the following link for status of sentencing.

    ttp://www.usdoj.gov/usao/nye/vw/Case%20Updates.html

  134. worked for brad says:

    Is Brad walking with out prison time? I cant believe he has not been sentenced

  135. exfriedmanemployee2 says:

    Makes my stomach turn. He is out making money,enjoying his freedom – where is the justice?

  136. MAD MATT says:

    So, Did he walk or is he going to be jailed?

  137. anonymous says:

    sentencinc april 29th, week away

  138. Bye Bye Bradley says:

    Brad’s Things To Do List for Prison:

    1) Explain to kids why Daddy’s a felon.
    2) Beg wife not to dump me.
    3) Pack clean underwear.
    4) Wipe that ever-present smirk off my face.
    5) Write apology letters to all the employees, vendors and shareholders I cheated.
    6) Forget #5… Why start caring about them now?
    7) Consider the irony of the times I told employees they were “Endangered Species”, and then laughed.

  139. exfriedmanemployee2 says:

    United States District Court
    Eastern District of New York
    Senior Judge GERSHON , NINA
    Wednesday, April 29, 2009
    Courtroom 6D S
    10:30 AM
    Criminal Cause for Sentencing
    07cr00113
    USA V. STINN
    Deft. – BRADLEY STINN
    *

  140. curioustoknow says:

    Anyone know the status of the sentencing?

  141. just me says:

    12 years – 3 years probation – 4M restitution – I believe he doesn’t have to report for 60 days.

  142. worked for Brad says:

    I am so glad this thing is over.I wish I could have seen it in person.Nobody deserves anymore than this terrible person,I hope he remembers all the mean and cruel things He said to innocent people ant the lives he wrecked,His family is getting a little taste of what thier father and husband did to do many for so long..Starve the turkeys,all are replaceable guess he was right he will be with the turkeys and he has been replaced…Hey STINN FAMILY DONT FEEL SORRY FOR YOURSELFS HE WAS AN ASSHOLE

  143. curioustoknow says:

    Does anyone know when sentencing is set for Vic and John?

  144. Ex Sav Employee says:

    I briefly worked with Brad, Vic & John. Brad was MEAN, had a huge ego (I believe he loved himself more than his family) and a bank account his wife knew nothing about and he made sure I knew that every time he had a deposit to make. He deserved what he got. Vic & John were usually nice, but still were wrong. I can’t believe Vic worked all those hours creating such a scheme. What a waste and look where he ended up.

    • Wrong says:

      You are completely wrong I know Brad and his wife and go to school with his kids and he cares about them tremendously. He is one of the nicest men I have ever met and always had everyones backs. Also, to the person who disrespected his wife you are completely wrong she is incredibly nice and an amazing person. When Mr. Stinn was put in jail our whole community was deeply saddened and distraught. I hope all of the people who hate Mr. Stinn realize that he worked very hard, loved his family, and was not a criminal. His kids Nick, Jack and Sarah are extremely nice, kind, smart, and are incredible people who learned how to be like that from their father, Brad.

      • reality says:

        I’m sorry to say that the personal side of brad, and the one that was viewed by mnay people outside of work (like yourself) differed greatly from the CEO side of Brad.

        I witnessed the CEO side firsthand. in this case, i’m afraid one side had nothing to do with the other. Whether he is nice,or his family is nice, really had no relevence to his actions at friedmans/Crescent.

  145. College recruiting says:

    Very interesting article I like your blog keep up the great articles

  146. Jesse says:

    I am a friend of Bradley Stinn and i was also incarcerated with him. i see a bunch of people siding with the federal government and their devestating power over our countrymen/women. A government which “locks up” more of our own people than any other. i would bet my freedom against Brads remaining time that you all know nothing about the “time” you all so easily just spew ,against not only him but his family and friends. So spare the world the little “do the crime do the time” sayings that you learned on 20/20. You wanna blog? Try shedding light on the real jewels of the system. Murderers, rapists,and child molesters get off on a fraction time. But then again i bet plenty of you (bloggers) just blushed.

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