Indian-American woman pleads guilty in $ 34 mn fraud case | world | Hindustan Times
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Indian-American woman pleads guilty in $ 34 mn fraud case

An Indian-American woman executive has pleaded guilty to defrauding her company of $ 34 million to pay for her "irrational" buying sprees and faces up to 20 years in jail on conviction.

world Updated: Jul 29, 2010 19:51 IST

An Indian-American woman executive has pleaded guilty to defrauding her company of $ 34 million to pay for her "irrational" buying sprees and faces up to 20 years in jail on conviction.

Forty six-year-old Sujata Sachdeva, a former Vice President of finance at Koss Corporation, pleaded guilty to all the six counts of wire fraud, for which she was charged early this year, before a Milwaukee court in Wisconsin on Tuesday.

"Ms Sachdeva recognises the harm she has caused to her employers, the company shareholders, her colleagues and her friends, but she most regrets the pain and public embarrassment she has caused to her husband, Ramesh, and their two young children," her attorney Mike Hart said.

Reading out a statement with Sachdeva standing besides him outside the Milwaukee court, Hart said she has cooperated with federal prosecutors to recover as much of the merchandise as possible to pay restitution to Koss Corporation, a headphone manufacturer.

Sachdeva has begun to address the issues that led to her conduct and accepts full responsibility for her actions, and hopes for a fair and just result, Hart said.

Facing five to 20 years of imprisonment, if convicted, Sachdeva remains free on bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled for October 22.

According to the indictment, Sachdeva authorised numerous wire transfers of funds from bank accounts maintained by Koss to pay for her American Express credit card bills.

In addition, Sachdeva used money from Koss' bank accounts to fund numerous cashier's checks, which she also used to pay her personal expenses.

Sachdeva used the money she fraudulently obtained from Koss to purchase personal items including women's clothing, furs, purses, shoes, jewellery, automobiles, china, statues, and other household furnishings.

Sachdeva also used the money to pay for hotels, airline tickets and other travel expenses for herself and others; to pay for renovations and improvements to her home; and to compensate individuals providing personal services to her and her family, the indictment alleged.

According to the indictment, Sachdeva sought to conceal her fraud by directing other Koss employees to make numerous fraudulent entries in Koss' books and records to make it appear that Sachdeva's fraudulent transfers were legitimate business transactions.