August 22, 2006

Irony Defined

We got this article in Creative Leisure News this morning. It's subscribtion only, so here's the whole article.

Wal-Mart's Former #2 Sentenced to...Home

Thomas Coughlin, the former Vice Chair at Wal-Mart, was sentenced to 27 months of home confinement after pleading guilty on federl charges of wire fraud and tax evasion in a plea agreement. He will also serve five years of probation and pay restiution of about $411,000.

He faced up to 28 years in prison and 1.34 million in fines. Prosecutors had asked for a 6-12 month prision sentence, but the judge sided with a doctor who testified that Coughlin was in poor health.

As Vice Chair, the #2 person behind CEO Lee Scott, Coughlin recieved a base salary of $1.03 million, plus $3+ million in bonuses in this final year with the company, and held about $20 million in Wal-Mart stock, according to Securities and Exhange Commiossions filings, the Associated Press reported. The year before, his total compensation was $10.9 million, reported the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The agreement had Coughlin plead guilty to a smaller sum than the company had initially charged - $100,00 - $500,000. He pled guilty to $6,500 for his share of a private hunting lease, $2,695 for upgrades to his 1999 Ford truck, and a $200 Sam's Club gift card that he used to buy a cooler, two cases of Miller Light beer, and other items, the AP reported.

Wal-Mart had originally charged Coughlin's schemes included pressuring subordinates to fake invoices and expense reports and misue of Wal-Mart gift cards. But Coughlin had previously claimed his "thefts" were actually to divert company money to a secret anti-union spy operation. Wal-Mart denied any such operation. At the sentencing hearing, however, Coughlin only said, "There is no excuse for my conduct. I fell compelled to apologize to my extended Wal-Mart family."

Wal-Mart has filed a civil lawsuit seeking to revoke Coughlin's $12 million retirement package, but it was dismissed by an Arkansas judge. The company is appealing to the Arkansas Supreme Court.

The ultimate irony in the case: Coughlin joined Wal-Mart in 1978 as head of its loss-prevention department.

**emphasis mine**

Ok - first off - if I'm makin' that kind of money I think I can manage to buy my own damn cooler and beer. For cryin' out loud. And I don't know - is it just me - but those figures don't come anywhere NEAR matching what he took with what he has to pay.

Anyway - I just thought it all pretty damned ironic.....

Posted by Tammi at August 22, 2006 09:55 AM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?