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Ruling gives government a stake in Sachdeva's home

Feb. 28, 2011

By Doris Hajewski of the Journal Sentinel

Feb. 28, 2011 0

U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman has approved a request that clears the way for the government to take $268,246 of equity in the Mequon home of convicted embezzler Sujata "Sue" Sachdeva.

The former Koss Corp. executive is serving an 11-year sentence in a federal prison in Danbury, Conn., for taking $34 million from the company.

The order signed Friday is another in a string of requests from the government in preparation for the sale or auction of Sachdeva's assets.

In addition to the home equity, the latest order also gives the government the right to take a $115,000 account Sachdeva held at Park Bank, four time-shares at Starwood's Princeville Ocean Resort in Hawaii, plus some St. John Knits clothing not included in earlier listings.

The Sachdeva home, owned by Sachdeva and her estranged husband, Ramesh, in the Gazebo Hills subdivision, is valued by the City of Mequon at $812,000. The $268,246 represents stolen money spent on improvements to Sachdeva's share of the remaining equity in the home.

Ramesh Sachdeva, a physician who is an executive at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, filed for divorce last year.

Money recovered by the government through seizure of assets and sale of assets will go to Koss to reimburse the company for its loss. No date has been set for the auction of about 22,000 items of luxury clothing, jewelry, shoes and art objects that Sachdeva bought with the stolen millions.

Koss also has filed lawsuits against its former public accounting firm, Grant Thornton, Sachdeva and American Express in an attempt to recover money.

A judge in Phoenix has dismissed the lawsuit against American Express, the company that tipped off Koss to the embezzlement. Koss is claiming that American Express had an obligation to report the fraud and that the credit card firm knew about it for months before telling Koss.

Michael Avenatti, the California attorney representing Koss in the suit, said he plans to ask the judge to reconsider the dismissal. If that fails, Avenatti expects to file an appeal.

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