Business Insider- A woman who worked as an assistant for a senior HP executive was sentenced on Monday to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to embezzling nearly $1 million from the company.
She was also ordered to pay $954,000 restitution in installments of $3,000 a month, Dana Littlefield at The San Diego Union Tribune reports.
The woman, Holli Dawn Coulman, pleaded guilty to the charges last year, the FBI reported in a press release.
She worked at HP from 2000 to May 2012. Part of her job was to manage corporate credit cards, which were supposed to be used for approved business expenses. Coulman was accused of using them them to “support an extravagant and luxurious lifestyle,” the FBI said. This included spending:
Over $100,000 at the La Costa Resort Spa
Over $43,000 at the Lodge at Pebble Beach and Casa Palmero at Pebble Beach
Thousands of dollars in airfare for trips to Hawaii and Europe
Thousands of dollars at the Apple Store
More than $33,000 in BTO Sports motocross gear
Thousands of dollars at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom
The FBI said she also used the company credit cards to pay for more than $350,000 in expenses for her brother’s business.
When HP program administrators questioned the expenditures, she deleted their emails, or fabricated receipts and invoices, or sent fake email replies from her boss saying the expenses were authorized, the FBI said.
She was fired from HP, The Union-Tribune reports, and then she was fired from her next job after HP notified her new employer of this investigation.
Coulman expressed deep remorse for her actions in a letter she wrote to the court, Littlefield reports. She told the judge, “I cannot offer any explanation for the criminally bad decisions I’ve made … I would love for a do-over, and admittedly I am scared to death to go to prison … But I know there must be consequences.”
Welp. Guess what Holli, when you get caught flying too close to the sun sometimes you get slapped with company embezzlement, a 21 month prison sentence, and nearly 27 years of paying off restitutions equalling to $954,000 dollars. It happens. She should’ve just had better excuses ready like Elaine in Seinfeld. The resorts in my head I could see as a business expense. Corporate retreat having to destress or a place to talk about company stuff. Big businesses do that all the time. Thousands of dollars at a company rival, Apple? Thats just a work expense. The 350k on your brothers business i cant really defend and the motocross gear is a little bit of a stretch but if you can chalk it up as a work vehicle id try it. You gotta make him believe that the comforter you expensed is actually the Aristotle Goose Down Tunic and you wouldn’t be in the clink for the next two years.
Either way though some of the blame has to be on the company. This isn’t like Peter from Office Space, siphoning off pennies to accumulate millions here. She pulled the good ol, “Oh no you see dad said i could do it” to Mom so its okay. Need to see a receipt? sure let me type one up on Microsoft Word and print it out for ya. And the best of all, her great scheme, when sent a work email about it, she deleted said email. Boom. Gone. Not a problem anymore if its the trash folder! If you can let a deleted email circumvent all your rules and operations regarding spending company cash, you deserve to get embezzled.