Brad Stinn Sentenced – Every Choice Has A Consequence – Update by Chuck Gallagher Ethics Speaker

April 29, 2009

On of the most viewed Blog entries was the one about Brad Stinn and Friedman’s Jewelers.

Pump up those sales! We’ve got to make the quarter! How often are those command heard and how tempting is it to make the wrong choices in order to please the investing public and Wall Street?

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.

Having been found guilty, the wheels of justice in the federal system move slowly at times.  Many have wondered just what outcome would befall Brad Stinn  prison1who some hated and others sympathized with.  Well, today the verdict has been handed down.

His sentence:

12 years in federal prison

3 years probation

$4M restitution

He should report sometime in the next 60 days

Speaking from experience, Stinn will be required to serve 85% of his active sentence, which means that he’ll serve 122.4 months – which is a long time!

US Attorney’s New Release:

Bradley Stinn, the former Chief Executive Officer of Friedman’s Inc. and its affiliate, Crescent Jewelers, was sentenced today to 12 years’ imprisonment for securities fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy. On March 24, 2008, following a six-week trial, a federal jury in Brooklyn convicted Stinn on all counts in the indictment and returned a forfeiture verdict against him in the amount of $1,019,000. The trial and sentencing proceeding were held before Senior United States District Judge Nina Gershon.

The sentence was announced by Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

During the period of the conspiracy, Friedman’s was a national jewelry chain whose shares were traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The evidence at trial established that Stinn led a multi-year securities fraud scheme that inflated Friedman’s reported financial performance and hid from the market the serious problems the company had collecting money owed for hundreds of millions of dollars of jewelry that it had sold on credit. As part of the scheme, Stinn and his co-conspirators repeatedly lied to shareholders and the investing public about Friedman’s financial performance, made false and fraudulent representations to Friedman’s auditors, and manipulated the company’s accounting in order to prevent auditors from discovering the falsity of Friedman’s financial statements. As found by the court at sentencing, Stinn’s fraud scheme resulted in Friedman’s shareholders and other victims of the scheme losing more than $20 million.

Several months after the announcement of the government’s investigation in November 2003, Friedman’s stock was de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange. Friedman’s ultimately filed for bankruptcy in January 2005.

As always, this blog is open for comments.

Do you think that this sentence is fair?

Would you, if you had the opportunity to serve on a jury, have given Brad – more, less or this amount a punishment for his guilty plea?

COMMENTS ARE WELCOME!