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Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

SEC Charges Two Former Accountants at Koss Corp. with Embezzlement

The SEC today charged two former senior accounting professionals at Koss Corporation, a Milwaukee-based headphone manufacturer, with accounting fraud, books-and-records violations, and related misconduct arising from the embezzlement of more than $30 million from the company.  According to the SEC's complaint, Sujata Sachdeva, who was the vice president of finance and principal accounting officer at Koss Corporation, stole money from company accounts to make millions of dollars in payments on her personal credit card and for other extravagant personal purchases from luxury retailers. With the assistance of Koss senior accountant Julie Mulvaney, Sachdeva concealed the theft on Koss’s balance sheet and income statement by overstating assets, expenses, and cost of sales, and by understating liabilities and sales. Based on the fraudulent records prepared by Sachdeva and Mulvaney, Koss prepared materially false financial statements and filed materially false current, quarterly, and annual reports with the SEC.  The alleged scheme began in 2004 and lasted through December 2009. After discovering the embezzlement, Koss amended and restated its financial statements for fiscal years 2008 and 2009 and the first three quarters of fiscal year 2010. Both Sachdeva and Mulvaney have been terminated by the company.

The SEC’s complaint charges Sachdeva with violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and charges both Sachdeva and Mulvaney with violations of the reporting, books and records and internal control provisions of the federal securities laws. The SEC seeks a permanent injunction, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and financial penalties against Sachdeva and Mulvaney, and an order barring Sachdeva from serving as an officer or director of a public company.

Sachdeva entered into a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin on July 27, 2010, in a parallel criminal proceeding and pled guilty to six counts of wire fraud. Sachdeva is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 18, 2010.

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