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 user 2005-10-10 at 10:43:00 am Views: 121
  • #13079

    3 charged with stealing $1.7 million from employer

    October 2005

    In a five-month stretch
    last year, three employees of a high-end Chicago clothier secretly
    bought hundreds of iPod music players with company funds and then sold
    them online, Cook County prosecutors say.
    In total, Robert J. Alesia, 65, Jeff Kaplan, 58, and James Minch, 44,
    are accused of pocketing $1.7 million in Hartmarx Corp. funds from
    their electronics purchases and eBay auctions, prosecutors say.
    On Thursday, a Cook County judge set bail at $100,000 for Alesia, who is charged with theft.
    Last weekend, bail was set at $200,000 each for Kaplan and Minch, who are also charged with theft.
    All three men have since been fired, said Taras Proczko, a Hartmarx attorney.
    “To date, none of the money has been recovered,” Proczko said Thursday.
    But insurance should cover “virtually all” of it, Proczko added.
    iPods bought, sold on eBay
    Alesia worked as director of management information systems, Proczko
    said. Kaplan was a purchasing agent and Minch also worked for
    information systems, prosecutors said.
    Beginning in 2000, Alesia, Kaplan and Minch devised a plan to order
    hand-held electronic organizers, iPods, digital cameras and other
    electronic devices using Hartmarx funds, assistant state’s attorney
    David R. Navarro said.
    Then the men submitted phony or forged invoices to Hartmarx, listing
    the electronics purchases as office supplies such as toner cartridges,
    Navarro said. The scheme continued until the middle of this year,
    Navarro said.
    The theft was discovered during an internal audit, Navarro said.