Washington: A former Indian-American executive faces up to 20 years in jail after pleading guilty to stealing $ 34 million from stereo headphone manufacturer Koss Corporation for her "irrational and excessive buying sprees".
Sujata Sachdeva, 46, 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 Tuesday.
US District Judge Lynn Adelman accepted her guilty plea to all six counts of felony fraud in connection with the federal government's $ 34 million embezzlement case against her and set a sentencing date of Oct 22.
Each charge against Sachdeva carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000. Each charge also carries a mandatory special assessment of $ 100 and a maximum term of supervised release to follow any term of confinement of up to five years.
She has also agreed to pay an estimated $ 34 million in restitution to Koss under a plea deal that calls for at least five years in prison, although prosecutors may recommend a much longer sentence.
Sachdeva has been free on a $ 50,000 signature bond since she was charged in December.
The government plans to auction more than 22,000 items of luxury clothing, shoes, jewellery, furs and art objects that Sachdeva bought with the stolen money. Koss will receive the proceeds of the auction. No date has been set for the online auction, which needs the approval of the court.
After the hearing, her attorney Michael F. Hart stood beside Sachdeva on the steps of the federal courthouse and read her statement, according to Milwaukee Sentinel Journal.
In it, Sachdeva, 46, said she most regrets the pain and public embarrassment she caused her husband and two young children. Ramesh Sachdeva, a paediatrician who is an executive with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, was in court Tuesday with his wife.
"Ms. Sachdeva engaged in irrational and excessive buying sprees that escalated over time," the statement says. "When the bills piled up, she took money from her employer to pay for her purchases."
"A large portion of the funds were used to pay for items that Sue Sachdeva never possessed, clothes she never wore and items she never picked up."