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Former Alden Shoe CFO Pleads Guilty to $30 Million Embezzlement

Like many handmade American goods, a pair of Alden shoes don’t come cheap. They could have saved a little bit on overhead though, as their former Chief Financial Officer just plead guilty to embezzling $30 million from the company.

From NBC Boston:

A former top executive at a Massachusetts-based shoe manufacturer has agreed to plead guilty to embezzling $30 million from the company, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Richard Hajjar, 64, the former chief financial officer of Alden Shoe Co., agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud, unlawful monetary transactions and filing a false tax return, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston.

Hajjar had worked at Alden since 1987 and apparently took the money over an eight year period from 2011 to 2019 by writing checks to himself and wiring himself money from the company bank account using, “some of the money to buy jewelry, including a $158,000 diamond ring, and private flights to the Caribbean, according to court documents.”

But that’s not all, according to the Boston Globe, “Alden filed another lawsuit last year claiming, among other things, that Hajjar had funneled $15 million of the embezzled funds into the TV and fashion businesses of Bianca de la Garza, a former television news anchor who ran a beauty business under the name BDG Enterprises.”

And to further complicate Hajjar’s situation, he apparently owes the IRS $5 million in back taxes for not reporting any of his embezzled funds even after admitting guilt and Alden has two lawsuits open against Hajjar and de la Garza to recoup their money.

Alden has not commented on their financial viability in light of the scandal, however everything appears to be business as usual making shoes in Middleborough. But if you bought a pair of Aldens in the last decade, you may have directly funded a line of makeup for necks called “In GLO We Trust”.