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Feds prepare to auction Sachdeva's ill-gotten items

Proceeds will go back to Koss, her former employer

Jan. 27, 2011
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By Doris Hajewski of the Journal Sentinel

Jan. 27, 2011 0

The U.S. attorney's office filed papers in federal court Thursday that will clear the way for the sale of about 22,000 items purchased by former Koss Corp. executive Sujata "Sue" Sachdeva with the millions she stole from the company.

The motion from prosecutors asks U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman to give the government clear title to the clothing, jewels, artwork and household items seized by the FBI in connection with the case. The order includes Sachdeva's 2007 Mercedes Benz E350, but not her Mequon home.

The government has obtained a preliminary order for $268,000 of equity in the home. Sachdeva also has been ordered to make restitution for the $34 million she embezzled from Koss.

The date and other details of the sale of Sachdeva's loot won't be announced until after Adelman approves the request filed Thursday.

Gaston & Sheehan, the Texas auction house that handled the sale of items owned by disgraced financier Bernie Madoff, is expected to run the sale.

The Madoff sale included both a live event and an online auction. It is unclear whether the Sachdeva sale would follow that plan or be conducted only online.

An inventory filed by prosecutors last fall showed shoes mostly in size 8, with some up to size 10, and clothing in a range of sizes from 8 to 14.

The shoe list includes stilettos from Escada and Jimmy Choo, sable snake heels from Stuart Weitzman, Christian Louboutin silk sandals, and other brands including Manolo Blahnik, Prada, Oscar de la Renta, Gucci, Christian Dior, Sergio Rossi, Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Giuseppe Zanotti, Balmain Paris, Yves Saint Laurent, René Caovilla, Fendi and Emilio Pucci.

More than half of the list, about 38 pages, documents jewelry. There are earrings in gold and silver, plus bracelets and necklaces with diamonds, pearls, rubies, an array of gemstones, including citrine, opal, topaz, aquamarine, amethyst as well as turquoise and amber pieces.

Dozens of watches also will be auctioned, including brands such as Movado, Rolex, Chanel, Swiss Legend, Chopard Casmir, Raymond Weil Geneve, TechnoMarine Genéve, and Concord Delirium.

Much of the designer clothing isn't listed with detailed information, but brands mentioned include Escada, Zenobia, Féraud, Sansappelle, Chavez, Platt, Mastroanni, Badgley Mischka, Pamella Roland, Christopher Fischer, Etro-Italian, Cerano, Apriori, Worth Collection and others.

Proceeds of the sale will go to Koss to reimburse the Milwaukee stereo headphone manufacturer for its loss. Sachdeva, who was the company's longtime vice president of finance, embezzled the money over about 12 years, with the largest amounts stolen in the last years before she was caught in December 2009.

The legal process leading to the sale included a period of a month during which retailers who sold items to Sachdeva could make claims for any merchandise that Sachdeva hadn't paid for before it was seized by federal agents.

Only two retailers, Karat 22 in Houston and Inna Chatokhine in northern Illinois, filed legal petitions with the court to claim items. Four other retailers submitted documents supporting their requests to claim items that were seized. They are Gucci America Inc., Donna Karan Co., Giorgio Armani Corp. and AC Zuckerman, a Mequon jeweler.

The petition filed by prosecutors Thursday excludes the items claimed by the retailers.

Sachdeva was sentenced in November to 11 years in federal prison. She remains free on bond awaiting assignment to a prison.

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