Sunday, December 27, 2009

Compulsive Shopping

Vice-President (Finance) of Koss Corp, makers of head phones and similar accessories has misdirected company's funds to the extent of nearly 20 million dollars to her personal account with American Express. The company was tipped off by the alert American Express about unusually large transfers coming to her account from the company. Sujata "Sue" Sachdeva has confessed. Her husband is a paediatrician and the family's finances were ample.

This is not a run of the mill white collar misappropriation. She is supposed to be a victim of 'oniomania' or 'compulsive shopping syndrome' aka shopaholism. She spent the money on jewellery and apparel. She was very active in social activities and had been working with Koss Corp since 1992. Would American judiciary find her unpunishable because she is a victim of an apparently uncontrollable psychological disorder? This is also an interesting case from the perspective of operational risk management.

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