No great surprise here – other than the fact that Sue Sachdeva got so little time for such a large crime. But, having been there I can promise readers that 11 years in prison – federal prison – will be a life changing event. In my experience, there is no place where time moves more slowly!
As background, Sujata “Sue” Sachdeva, a former Koss Corp. executive who pleaded guilty to embezzling $34 million from the Milwaukee headphones maker was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison. The company’s former vice president of finance, had pleaded guilty to using company funds to pay her personal bills for clothes, jewelry and other lavish items.
Facing up to 120 years, Sue got less than the guideline range of 16 to 20 years.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman said he granted Sachdeva a degree of leniency because she cooperated with investigators from the very day FBI agents came to her home in 2009. Her “acceptance of responsibility and the genuineness of her remorse” were compelling factors, Adelman said.
She read a brief statement before sentencing in which she apologized to her family, friends and former Koss colleagues.
“I know you were deeply hurt by my dishonesty in ways I never imagined or intended,” she said, her voice cracking.
According to Washington Post reports – Sachdeva’s scheme was uncovered when the security department at American Express noticed her balances were being paid through large wire transfers originating from a Koss account. American Express notified Michael Koss, the company’s chief executive, who entered Sachdeva’s office and found piles of women’s clothing, according to a federal complaint. Some clothes had price tags for more than $2,000 still attached.
Sachdeva’s attorneys said she has bipolar disorder and was driven to embezzle by a compulsive shopping disorder. They noted she never used most of her purchases, and often sent them straight to storage facilities because she had no room left in her home.
“This was compulsive behavior, not greed,” defense attorney Brian Kinstler said. “She didn’t want to be up to her ears in clothing that didn’t fit, with the price tags still on.”
Sachdeva has agreed to pay $34 million in restitution to Koss. Federal officials also seized most of her assets, including a 2007 Mercedes-Benz, jewelry, shoes and furs.
The question for readers is – do you think that Sue Sachdeva’s sentence was just? Fair? And, lastly how does Sachdeva plan on ever paying restitution of $34 million once she is released from prison some 9 1/2 years from now?
YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOME!