Happy Halloween/Thanksgiving! Happy Birthday Tina
Shulman (11/15) / Devan Shulman (11/25)
Check out our new 1-hour employee theft online course.
Learn why people commit employee theft, how to dete it and what to do
when confronted with it. http://theshulmancenter.360training.com
Check out our new short uploaded webvideos on shoplifting addiction,
employee theft, and compulsive shopping/spending at: http://theshulmancenter.com/videoarchive.html and
also on YouTube under "The Shulman Center" at http://youtube.com
Check out our websites on
hoarding at www.hoardingtherapy.com & www.hoardersanonymous.org
We are grateful
for our various opportunities to be of service to our clients and to the
public at large.
In these days before election time where political parties
are more polarized than ever and where we live in a world where many
nations and even family members can't see eye-to-eye, it's a rare and
wonderful feeling when we're able to gather and agree to be respectful
and open-minded and find new solutions to problems.
I had such a pleasure not once but twice in the last couple of weeks. The
problems faced were shoplifting and employee theft. As a former
shoplifter and workplace pilferer myself, I met with
and conducted a 2-hour Power Point presentation on employee theft at
Radio Shack's annual Loss Prevention Conference in Dallas/Fort Worth,
Texas and also facilitated a half-hour presentation (along with
another recovering shoplifter) about a new local chapter of C.A.S.A.
(Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous) before 15 Grand Rapids,
Michigan probation officers.
In "traditional" ways of thinking, one might say we "went
behind enemy lines" or that our hosts "let the foxes into the
henhouse." But trusting enough to bridge the gap means trusting
enough to take risks. Good risks. On both sides.
It would be very easy for any company or loss prevention person to
mistrust someone like me--a former "thief" who counsels former
"thieves." Believe me, I've spent the last five years getting
acquainted with the loss prevention world. I've been met mostly with
distrust and misinformation--"he's soft on theft"--but I've
also been welcomed by many others who realize I am just as interested in
helping stop stealing as they are--except my angle is to help my
clients--be they the shoplifter, pilferer, company, or loss prevention
agent--understand why people steal and how best to apply that knowledge
to decreasing new theft as well as recidivism.
My recent experience getting to know the Radio Shack LPs really opened my
eyes (as much as I was hoping to open theirs). I met 35 friendly,
passionate, and open-minded people who were interested in what I had to
say, who treated me with respect, who shared their challenges and hopes,
and who even laughed with me.
Invoking the Academy-award winning movie "Crash," I wrote
in my book "Biting The Hand That Feeds: The Employee Theft
Epidemic" (2005): "When shall we experience our 'crash'
moment--where our lives intersect and we feel each others' struggles in a
new way?" The LP sees himself as the good guy trying to catch
"the thief"--the bad guy; of course, "the thief"
often sees things differently--he may feel justified in shoplifting or
pilfering and see the boss, the company, or the world as unjust; he may
just be getting what he feels he's "owed."
The same "cat-n-mouse"/"good-guy-bad-guy" play
happens day-in and day-out in our nations criminal justice systems.
Probation officers are on the front lines in assessing, monitoring, and
making crucial decisions about probationers from every walk of life. I've
been on probation twice in my life for shoplifting arrests (1986 and 1990)
and, as a criminal defense attorney for the past 18+ years, I've met
what I'd call "good PO's and bad PO's." Like LPs, it's easy for
POs to get jaded toward their probationers (many of whom do lie and
manipulate and don't really want to change). But it's just as easy for a
probationer to become jaded toward his PO--or toward the legal system as
a whole (as many report that all that's cared about is the money, nobody
listens, nobody really cares, nobody really helps).
So, when I recently found myself in the rare setting among 15 POs in
Grand Rapids, Michigan sharing about my own shoplifting addiction
and recovery, I was encouraged to sense that my presentation was
well-received and the questions afterwards were earnest. I may not have
reached every individual but my intention was not to make excuses for my
past behavior but to draw them into my world and how I got off track and
how I found my way back. I wanted to impress upon them, like the LPs at
Radio Shack, that we can be on the same side--working toward preventing
and reducing new theft and repeated theft.
Imagine if we could see Democrats and Republicans, Israelis and
Palestinians, even family members ripped apart at the seams, listening
and honoring each other, working toward win-win solutions. Imagine
bridging the greatest of gaps.
What does it take to bridge the gap? Listening, respect, doing one's best
to understand, finding common group, validating each others'
experiences, and the willingness to agree to disagree on points. A tall
task, you say? Perhaps. But I feel we have to start somewhere. And
recently, I felt I was able to put aside any prejudices about loss
prevention folks and probation officers and that they were willing to put
aside anything akin to the judgment that "all shoplifters and
pilferers are alike."
The 13th century Sufi mystic poet Rumi summed it up best with his
memorable line: "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I'll meet you there."
Some have probably noticed the spike in interest
in hoarding behavior over the last couple of years. First there was
A&E TV's "Hoarders," then TLC TV's "Hoarding: Buried
Alive," and now comes the latest segment on Animal Planet's "Confessions:
Hoarding is a serious disorder which affects, perhaps 3-5, million
Americans; other estimate it closer to 5% of the American
population, or 15 million.
While these TV programs tend to illustrate some of the more extreme cases
of hoarding, they do help to educate the public at large about the
causes, dangers, and difficult treatment processs.
THE CASE OF THE
$50 MILLION SHOPAHOLIC/EMBEZZLER
Woman Pleads Guilty to $34 Million Restitution!
by Chuck Gallagher (Wordpress.com)
Indian-American executive faces up to 20 years in jail after pleading
guilty to stealing
$34 million from stereo headphone manufacturer Koss Corporation for her
excessive buying sprees'.
Sujata Sachdeva, 46, a former vice president of finance at
Koss Corporation, pleaded guilty to
all the six counts of wire fraud, for which she was charged early this
year, before a Milwaukee
court in Wisconsin Tuesday.
US District Judge Lynn Adelman accepted her guilty plea to
all six counts of felony fraud in connection with the federal
government's $34 million embezzlement case against her and set
a sentencing date of Oct 22.
Each charge against Sachdeva carries a maximum penalty of 20
years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Each charge also carries a
mandatory special assessment of $100 and a maximum
term of supervised release to follow any term of confinement of up to
She has also agreed to pay an estimated $34 million in
restitution to Koss under a plea deal
that calls for at least five years in prison, although prosecutors may
recommend a much longer sentence.
Sachdeva has been free on a $50,000 signature bond since she
was charged in December.
The government plans to auction more than 22,000 items of
luxury clothing, shoes, jewelry, furs
and art objects that Sachdeva bought with the stolen money. Koss will
receive the proceeds of
the auction. No date has been set for the online auction, which needs the
approval of the court.
After the hearing, her attorney Michael F. Hart stood beside
Sachdeva on the steps of the federal courthouse and read her statement,
according to Milwaukee Sentinel Journal.
In it, Sachdeva, 46, said she most regrets the pain and
public embarrassment she caused her husband and two young children.
Ramesh Sachdeva, a pediatrician who is an executive with Children's
Hospital of Wisconsin, was in court Tuesday with his wife.
'Ms. Sachdeva engaged in irrational and excessive buying
sprees that escalated over time,'
the statement says. 'When the bills piled up, she took money from her
employer to pay for her purchases.'
'A large portion of the funds were used to pay for items
that Sue Sachdeva never possessed,
clothes she never wore and items she never picked up.'
WHERE FROM HERE?
Well...this was a smart move on Sachdeva's part. Not
only would her sentence have been worse
if she had tried (like so many) to go to a jury trial, but the emotional
stress would have been much more straining that it already is.
Likely, her prison sentence will be longer than the 5 years she is
expecting, but shorter than the potential time she could face.
On the other hand, making $34 million in restitution...well
I don't see that happening, but?
ELLIOT SPITZER'S DOUBLE LIFE
A new movie was just released called "Client 9" about the rise
and fall of former U.S. Prosecutor and Governer Elliot Spitzer. One early
movie review includes the following critique: "(e)ven after all the
sit-down interviews and a movie's worth of research, Mr. Gibney can't
fully explain how a man whose life was built on coldly rational choices
behaved in such irrational ways. But he did reach at least one conclusion
about his subject: 'when you believe you are a force for good, that what
you are doing is important, it's as if you can't do anything bad,' he
said. 'And once that happens, it's the first step toward a double
ANNUAL THEFT SURVEY REPORT
following 2009 theft statistics were released October 1, 2010 by Jack
Hayes International, Inc. as part of their long-time annual theft
survey. I have written for the Jack Hayes Loss Prevention quarterly
newsletter and have a good relationship with the company through Mark
Doyle, their president.
& Dishonest Employees Continue to Steal Profits from United States
Chapel, FL —
Shoplifters and dishonest employees stole over $6.0 billion in 2009 from
just 25 major retailers, according to the 22nd Annual Retail Theft Survey
conducted by Jack L. Hayes International, the leading loss prevention and
inventory shrinkage control consulting firm. These 25 surveyed retailers
apprehended over 1 million shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2009
and recovered more than $163 million from these thieves.
shoplifter and dishonest employee apprehensions increased for the 4th
consecutive year, up almost 15% from the previous year", said Mark
R. Doyle, President of Jack L. Hayes International.
"Surveyed retailers made over 1 million shoplifting apprehensions in
2009, up almost 17% from 2008. However, the apprehension of dishonest
employees decreased 9% in 2009, after being up the previous 5 years. It
appears the poor economy had a hand in both an increase in shoplifting
and a decrease in employee theft.
"Shoplifting apprehensions appear to have increased due to the hard
times many people were having and less employees on the sales floor to
prevent shoplifting. Employee apprehensions decreased in 2009 due to
fewer new hires, less employees overall, and some employees being afraid
to lose their jobs." Mr. Doyle added, "Retail theft continues to
steal profits from retailers' bottom-line profits, which is driving
consumer prices higher and can force companies to close unprofitable
from this highly anticipated annual theft survey include:
25 large retail companies with 18,906 stores and over $605 billion
in retail sales (2009).
1,085,226 shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in
2009, up 14.7% from 2008.
Dollars: Over $163 million was recovered from apprehended
shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2009, down 4.9% from 2008.
Apprehensions: 1,014,817 shoplifters were apprehended in 2009, up an
amazing 16.8% from 2008.
Recovery Dollars: Over $111 million was recovered from apprehended
shoplifters in 2009, a slight increase of 1.0% from 2008. An
additional $29 million was recovered in 2009 from shoplifters where
no apprehension was made, up 19.4% from 2008.
Apprehensions: 70,409 dishonest employees were apprehended in 2009,
down 9.4% from 2008.
Recovery Dollars: Over $51 million was recovered from employee
apprehensions in 2009, down 15.7% from 2008.
- On a per
company basis, one in every 28.4 employees was apprehended for theft
from their employer in 2009. (Based on over 2.9 million employees.)
- On a per
case average, dishonest employees steal 6.6 times the amount stolen
by shoplifters ($728.90 vs. $110.14).
L. Hayes International, Inc. has been in the Loss Prevention/Shrinkage
Control consulting business for over 30 years, and is recognized on an
international level as the foremost loss prevention and inventory
shrinkage control consulting firm in the world.
information, see: http://www.hayesinternational.com/thft_srvys.html
BEWARE: HOLIDAY SHOPPING SEASON IS UPON US!
Holiday shoppers ready to spend more
Detroit Free Press Business Writer
For anyone who
has ever attended a recovery support group or known someone who has, it's
not unusual to hear or feel this sentiment: "I don't know where I'd
be without this group." The feeling
of being all alone and misunderstood is devastating; support groups often
feel like a "godsend."
The world was captivated by the two month old saga of the trapped 33
trapped Chilean miners--especially the final couple of days as they were
lifted to safety. It was the perfect antidote to the negative political
and world news that comes out each day. We all love a feel-good story and
this one showed people from all over coming together in both prayer and
Lessons? Patience pays off. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound (or
several tons) of cure. Oh, an of course, if you're having an affair, even
a half-mile deep hole in the group can't keep you from your partner's
We need some good news these days, don't we?
The Shulman Center
Comes to You!
A reminder: The Shulman Center offers counseling
services here in the metro-Detroit area, by telephone and/or SKYPE,
or--in certain circumstances--we may be able to come to you. Please feel
free to contact us to explore what option works best for you
Free Intimacy with
Money Telephone Seminars
It is with great excitement and confidence that I
share about the free "Intimacy with Money" telephone seminars
conducted by my long-time friend Tom Lietaert and my more recent friend
Andrew Hogan who currently work out of Boulder/Denver, Colorado.
learn more and to register, please go to: http://www.sacredodyssey.com/iwmhome.html
Please check out www.shopaholicnomore.com --
Dr. April Lane Benson's new website!
Book of the month:
"A Gentle Path through The Twelve
Steps" by Patrick Carnes, PhD (Hazelden). Originally
published in 1993, this book has been revised and is a good guide for
anyone struggling with any addiction. Dr. Carnes, perhaps best-known for
his pioneering work in the sexual addiction field, offers a
well-organized roadmap through the steps complete with down-to-earth
explanations and valuable journaling exercises.
Compulsive Theft & Spending in The News! October/November 2010:.
October--Mr. Shulman was featured in the November
issue of Milwaukee Magazine in an article on employee theft and
shopping addiction. See http://www.milwaukeemagazine.com
October 13--Mr. Shulman was in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas and presented a
2-hour Power Point on employee theft at Radio Shack's Annual Loss
October 15--Mr. Shulman presented a one hour seminar/discussion on
business ethics and loss prevention to a class of business school
students at University of Detroit-Mercy.
October 19--Mr. Shulman was interviewed on the radio interview
on compulsive shopping/spending on www.momsthewordshow.com
out of Colorado.
October 19--Mr. Shulman was interviewed on The Michael Eric Dyson radio
show on the topic of shoplifting addiction. See http://www.dysonshow.org
October--Mr. Shulman consulted with Univision spanish-speaking cable TV
on a documentary about compulsive shopping/spending in the Hispanic
October--Mr. Shulman had an article on compulsive theft and spending
featured in the Fall edition of Addiction Professional magazine.
October--Mr. Shulman had an article and ad featured
October 29--Mr. Shulman was a featured
presenter on compulsive shopping/spending and hoarding at a metro-Detroit
all-day addiction conference for mental health professionals.
October: Mr. Shulman consulted on two reality TV shows about compulsive
shopping/spending--one on Bravo Network and another on The Discovery
November 11--Mr. Shulman will be featured on the radio
interview on compulsive shopping/spending on www.momsthewordshow.com out of Colorado.
November--Mr. Shulman to be featured in Real Simple magazine about
November--Mr. Shulman to be featured in articles in The Toronto Star
newspaper and in Canada's Chatelaine magazine on shoplifting addiction.
November--Mr. Shulman will be interviewed on compulsive shopping/spending
and the holidays on metro-Detroit local community access cable TV.
December 1-3--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on employee theft detection
and prevention at The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds
Annual Conference in Las Vegas.
January 2011--Mr. Shulman will have an article published in the Jack
Hayes Loss Prevention quarterly newsletter.
January 2011--Mr. Shulman will have an article published on healing the
holiday overspending hangover in Renew recovery magazine.
February 4, 2011--Mr. Shulman will be presenting a 2-hour seminar on
employee theft to metro-Detroit area recipients rights workers at
Washtenaw County Community College.
Fall 2011--Mr. Shulman is hoping to assist with organizing and presenting
at an all-day conference in San Francisco, CA on various impulse control
October 1, 2011--Mr. Shulman will be presenting an all-day seminar on
compulsive theft & spending & hoarding in the metro-Detroit
November 4, 2011--Mr. Shulman will be presenting an all-day seminar on
compulsive theft & spending & hoarding in the Chicago area
through Proctor Hospital's/Illinois Institute for Addiction and
Recovery's ongoing learning program.
Mr. Shulman created an online continuing education course on compulsive
shopping and spending called "Bought Out and $pent!" based
on his book and Power Point presentation. The course, offered through The
American Psychotherapy Association, is available for purchase by APA
members and non-members. CEs are available. He's working on a
therapist certification program in compulsive theft/spending for the
Mr. Shulman is assisting the Baton Rouge, Louisiana
court system a court-ordered three hour facilitated educational
program for retail fraud offenders. The program is based on material from
his book "Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and
Mr. Shulman is consulting on a major motion picture tentatively called
"The Rush" in which the lead character is addicted to
shoplifting and stealing.
Mr. Shulman continues to assist the Kingman,
Arizona court system with his court-ordered home-study program for
retail fraud offenders. The program is based on material from his
book "Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and
Mr. Shulman is consulting with an author who is writing a novel about two
kleptomaniacs who fall in love with each other.
Contact The Shulman Center
Terrence Daryl Shulman, JD, LMSW, ACSW, CAAC, CPC
P.O. Box 250008
Franklin, Michigan 48025
Call (248) 358-8508 for free consultation!
Related sites by Terrence Shulman:
The Hand That Feeds
Out and $pent
Purchase--ON SALE through 2009!
Mr. Shulman's three books "Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction &
Recovery" and "Biting The Hand That Feeds: The Employee Theft
Epidemic... New Perspectives, New Solutions," and "Bought Out and $pent! Recovery from Compulsive
$hopping and $pending" are available for $25.00 each (includes
Click here to purchase
E-mail Mr. Shulman: