Monroe Township, NJ Man Admits to Bilking Williams-Sonoma Out of $12M
A 62-year-old Monroe Township, New Jersey native has plead guilty to his role in a scheme that reportedly defrauded the company Williams-Sonoma out of millions of dollars.
After being indicted back in April, Michael Podhurst admitted he awarded kickbacks to a former Williams-Sonoma Incorporated employee who gave business to several warehouses in which Podhurst had a vested interest. Those kickbacks were hidden from Williams-Sonoma, according to njbiz.com.
Federal prosecutors state that “During a four-year period, Podhurst directed the three companies where he worked to pay more than $12 million in kickbacks to a shell company owned and controlled by his co-defendant [Eric Marsiglia]."
That's basically the cost of a four-place setting from Williams Sonoma anyway, right? Sorry, I had to.
Those three companies reportedly provided Williams-Sonoma Incorporated with 'forklifts, warehouse racking systems, and machinery'. The warehouses were used to house and distribute WSI goods around the U.S. Williams-Sonoma is the parents company of Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn and West Elm, among others.
Podhurst pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. Any remain charges are expected to be dismissed during the sentencing phase. He could spend up to 20 years in prison for each of the wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy counts and face fines up to $750,000. A judge could also sentence Podhurst to supervised release and require he pay restitution.
Michael Podcast is due back in court in November.