Woman Embezzled $2.89 Million To Finance Shopping Addiction

Shopping addiction is really sad, especially when it compels otherwise normal people to do something insane like steal $2.89 million dollars just to buy shoes and jewelry.

From WYFF:

The crimes took place between January 1998 and December 2005 when [Brenda] Rivard was CFO of Lube USA.
Rivard stole the money by transferring more funds than necessary into the payroll account. She would then spend the excess money by writing herself checks from the payroll account.

She also spent about $180,000 using the corporate American Express card on personal items, most notably purchased from Nieman Marcus.

Lube USA is a privately-owned company headquartered in Japan that was formed in 1987. The company makes lubricating equipment for the manufacturing industry. The Greenville company is a distributor of the company.

Prosecutor Sylvia Harrison said, “She then falsified the bank statements that were sent back to Japan. They had no idea that she was taking this money.”

Lube USA CEO Nobuo Ochi said, “Oh my God — I mean, I didn’t know what she was doing.”

Investigators said that about $2.89 million was stolen over an eight-year period. They found 2,400 articles of clothing, about 850 pairs of shoes and 412 pieces of jewelry stored in Rivard’s basement.

Defense attorney Chip Price said, “I’ve known Brenda for 15 years and would never have guessed that something like this would happen.”

Price said, “I can’t find anything else that it was used for. It was not put in their home. There was no gambling. There were no drugs. I just don’t understand this.”

Brenda’s embezzlement meant that for several years the company’s employees were not able to receive raises and some were laid off. Now her assets have been liquidated to pay restitution to her employer, but its not nearly enough to repay what she stole. She will also have to serve at least 10 years of a 20 year sentence.

If you have a shopping addition, you need to get help.

Woman Stole $2.89 Million, Bought Clothes, Shoes, Jewelry [WYFF]