A woman who worked as an executive assistant for a senior HP executive was sentenced to 21 months in prison today after pleading guilty to embezzling nearly $US1 million from the company.
She was also ordered to pay $US954,000 restitution in installments of $US3,000 per month, reports the Dana Littlefield at the San Diego Union Tribune.
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 $US100,000 at the La Costa Resort Spa
- Over $US43,000 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 $US33,000 in BTO Sports motocross gear
- And thousands at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom’s.
The FBI said she also used the company credit cards to pay for more than $US350,000 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 authorised, 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, reports Littlefield. She told the judge that “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.”