It turns out that our loathed, stinky arch-nemesis Wal-Mart doesn’t merely steal the souls of the self-respecting working Joe (not to mention the serenity of America’s picturesque highway suburbs). It also steals from itself.
A former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. vice chairman who was a protege of founder Sam Walton pleaded guilty to fraud and tax charges Tuesday, admitting that he stole money, gift cards and merchandise from the world’s largest retailer.
Tom Coughlin, 57, faces a maximum of 28 years in prison after pleading guilty to five counts of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. He also could be fined $1.35 million.
The judge ordered a presentencing report that will take up to 14 weeks to prepare.
Wal-Mart lawyers referred Coughlin to federal prosecutors after discovering Coughlin had embezzled money from the company and used expense vouchers to buy products as varied as snakeskin boots, hunting trips and Bloody Mary mix. They estimated losses at up to $500,000.
You read that right: a significant portion of that $500,000 may have been made up of Wal-Mart brand Bloody Mary Mix. Our boy Tom was a big drinker, apparently, ripping himself off “a cooler, two cases of Smirnoff, two cases of Miller Light beer, a bottle of Jack Daniels, a carton of tequila, and other items”. Coughlin also defrauded the company “to pay for the care of his hunting dogs, lease a private hunting area, upgrade his pickup truck… and receive $3,100 in cash.” Which we assume he used to buy even more booze, because really, doesn’t he just look the jactitating drunk type? He looks like Albert Finney in The Green Man. Chug, Tom! Chug!