back to article Ex-HP finance manager jailed after going on $5m spending spree using company plastic

Now-former HP finance manager Shelbee Szeto has been sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to forfeit more than 250 luxury items after she blew $5m on herself using company credit cards. The list of stuff [PDF] she fraudulently bagged includes a 2020 Tesla sedan, a 2021 Porsche sport utility vehicle, 46 Chanel …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ambition, risk-training, vanity, lack of morals…

    Why isn't she the CEO?

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: Ambition, risk-training, vanity, lack of morals…

      Because she got caught

    2. Danny 14

      Re: Ambition, risk-training, vanity, lack of morals…

      she didnt bribe the correct people.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Ambition, risk-training, vanity, lack of morals…

      She's clearly a rank amateur. How did she think she would ever get away with this? The Gucci bags and Rolex watches sound like some incompetents way of hiding the money and keeping it from flowing through her own bank accounts. The cars were a bit obvious too.

    4. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Ambition, risk-training, vanity, lack of morals…

      Or replacing Rick Scott in charge of GOP funds?

      1. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Ambition, risk-training, vanity, lack of morals…

        Seems a GOPer is ashamed.

    5. sketharaman

      Re: Ambition, risk-training, vanity, lack of morals…

      Oh c'mon, you're insulting HP if you thought you can become CEO of a company of that size by committing a mere 7 figure fraud:)

  2. R Soul Bronze badge

    Strange choices for a thief

    Why did the culprit buy tat such as fancy cars and designer handbags? She could have done much better using HP's credit cards to get printer ink and resell it.

  3. Lis

    46 handbags

    I mean, 46 of the things? Bloody hell.

    Love the line about how she is taking full responsibility . How nice of her to do so. Guess there was nobody else she could blame…

    1. Danny 14

      Re: 46 handbags

      clearly you have never met my ex wife. She would buy shies and never wear them, they were just ornaments really.

      1. sketharaman

        Re: 46 handbags

        LOL You seem to be the guy in the old joke where a guy's wife loses his credit card. When his friend asks him why he hasn't filed a police complaint, he quips, "The thief will spend less than my wife":)

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: 46 handbags

      She should have started a parallel influencer business - but maybe she didn't look enough well on video - people like to talk about diversity and the like, but when it comes to "look beautiful" any old stereotype still stands...

  4. Vir_Floridanus

    Addiction?

    Really, addicted to what Rolexes?

    1. Bitsminer Silver badge

      Re: Addiction?

      Addicted to "retail therapy".

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Addiction?

      I guess so, as why else would you buy 16 of the things? There's no logical reason why, even if you liked them and wanted some backups, you'd need anywhere near that many. It's not hard to imagine that someone buying that shopping list might not be thinking very clearly, although that's not going to change the consequences of their actions.

      1. Danny 14

        Re: Addiction?

        addicts like the rush when they go into a shop and purchase, its the feeling they get when they are treat well as a high roller.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Addiction?

          How come that dopamine rush never happens when I shop in Lidl or Poundland?

          1. ChoHag Bronze badge

            Re: Addiction?

            Its your own money. If it was someone else's money you'd be in Waitrose and M&S enjoying the thrill of paying the same people twice as much for the same goods.

          2. F. Frederick Skitty

            Re: Addiction?

            "How come that dopamine rush never happens when I shop in Lidl or Poundland?"

            You mean you don't get excited in the cheese or random item aisles at Lidl? Scamorza affumicata and a cheap socket set certainly do it for me.

          3. Anonymous IV
            Unhappy

            Re: Addiction?

            > How come that dopamine rush never happens when I shop in Lidl or Poundland?

            The way things are going at the moment you will soon get that dopamine rush being able to shop anywhere...

            1. gandalfcn Silver badge

              Re: Addiction?

              No worries, The Truss is about to wave her magic broomstick

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Addiction?

        >I guess so, as why else would you buy 16 of the things?

        Statistics. With one watch you always know the time, with 2 you are always in doubt. With 16 you have a standard deviation

      3. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Addiction?

        Imelda Marcos

      4. jmch Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Addiction?

        Unlike luxury cars, Rolexes and other luxury mechanical watches keep their value very well, are relatively easy to hide and transport, and can readily be exchanged for cash without any registration needed. They are rare enough to be valuable but common enough to make an individual one close to untraceable unless the serial number is known. Some of them can also be extremely inconspicuous - someone could walk through customs with 50+ grand strapped onto their wrist without anyone blinking an eyelid.

        As such, besides being a vanity object and of interest to collectors, they are eminently suited for small-scale money laundering, bribing of officials etc

        I guess the same might also hold true for designer handbags, but I have no clue if that is really the case.

  5. Ian.D

    Like they weren't paying her well enough? They'll probably re-hire her when she gets out.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      Not for at least 3 years since she can't work in a financial capacity for that long after she gets out...

  6. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Bought on HP

    Hire Purchase m’Lord

    Those bags were only resting in my closet.

  7. ChoHag Bronze badge
    FAIL

    Doing so well despite even the greed but ...

    Finally, Szeto also failed to report the income to the Internal Revenue Service when she filed her tax returns. Oops.

    Typical small fry. Gotta pay off the big fish to play in their pond.

  8. Jan K. Bronze badge

    I did a little local survey among female friends and apparently it's almost impossible to live with less than 5 to 8 handbags...

    Everyone do however agree 46 is a bit over the top, though my little sister has no problem understand it.

    Well, there you go. ^ ^

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: it's almost impossible to live with less than 5 to 8 handbags...

      I think you misheard. They said 58 handbags.

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: it's almost impossible to live with less than 5 to 8 handbags...

        No, 528 handbags.

        Where has the Paris Hilton icon gone?

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "Where has the Paris Hilton icon gone?"

          Young generations no longer know that old "lady". We need an "influencer" icon, now, I guess....

          1. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Re: "Where has the Paris Hilton icon gone?"

            "We need an "influencer" icon, now, I guess...." Too many hoes to pick from.

  9. chivo243 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    so many mistakes...

    linked to a personal account?? big ticket items. Didn't quit when she was ahead...

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: so many mistakes...

      Strange how every white collar criminal we see getting caught does something stupid

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: so many mistakes...

        There are a few we know of who didn't do something stupid, well not stupid enough that it resulted in their capture. Those people are probably still enjoying their luxurious lifestyle on someone else's money, though, and one part of that is avoiding having us know where they are. The whole fake identity thing probably gets boring after a while, but there are people who do it successfully.

      2. katrinab Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: so many mistakes...

        That's because the ones who don't do stupid things don't get caught.

  10. jmch Silver badge

    Tracing??

    "the phony Stripe and Square merchant accounts were linked to Szeto's personal bank account — that the fraudulent funds were legitimate business transactions.

    Finally, Szeto also failed to report the income to the Internal Revenue Service when she filed her tax returns. Oops."

    Second one is a big red flag - isn't it common knowledge that it was the IRS that got Al Capone? As to the first, she probably could have set up a company, opened bank accounts for the company, and at least have the paperwork above board. Either way it looks like HP didn't have good controls in place to identify this - most companies where I've ever had anything to do with procurement had at least 4-eyes approval of invoices and payments above a certain not-very-high limit

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Tracing??

      >anything to do with procurement had at least 4-eyes approval of invoices and payments

      They were a PA for executives. You can't have 4 other executives approving every executives expenses processed by their PA

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: You can't have 4 other executives approving every executives expenses processed by their PA

        4-eyes means 2 people, or one person wearing spectacles.

    2. A2Wx8

      Re: Tracing??

      The poor financial controls sounds like one that happened here in the States recently where a member of the finance department of a major college with rights to purchase up to $10,000 without a second signoff embezzeled something like 40 million dollars by making purchases of electroncis just under the cap and selling them through a company that was in on it and would fence the stuff for a cut.

      It went on for over a decade until she pissed the wrong person off and they decided to take a closer look at her purchases.

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