The Shulman Center

Terrence Shulman
Founder/Director of
The Shulman Center

Terry Shulman

November 2010 Monthly e-Newsletter
"Bridging The Gap"
By Terrence Daryl Shulman

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.

Check out our new short uploaded webvideos on shoplifting addiction, employee theft, and  compulsive shopping/spending at: and also on YouTube under "The Shulman Center" at

Check out our websites on hoarding at &

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: Animal Hoarding."

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.  


Woman Pleads Guilty to $34 Million Restitution!
by Chuck Gallagher (

A former 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 'irrational and
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 five years.

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.'


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?



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 life.'"



The 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.

Shoplifters & Dishonest Employees Continue to Steal Profits from United States Retailers

Wesley 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.

"Total 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 stores."

Highlights from this highly anticipated annual theft survey include:

  • Participants: 25 large retail companies with 18,906 stores and over $605 billion in retail sales (2009).
  • Apprehensions: 1,085,226 shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in 2009, up 14.7% from 2008.
  • Recovery Dollars: Over $163 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2009, down 4.9% from 2008.
  • Shoplifter Apprehensions: 1,014,817 shoplifters were apprehended in 2009, up an amazing 16.8% from 2008.
  • Shoplifter 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.
  • Employee Apprehensions: 70,409 dishonest employees were apprehended in 2009, down 9.4% from 2008.
  • Employee 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).

Jack 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.

For more information, see:


Survey: Holiday shoppers ready to spend more

Detroit Free Press Business Writer

After two years of scrimping, Americans are expected to loosen up a little more this holiday season according to a survey out Monday.

Consumers surveyed said they expect to spend an average of $688.87 this year, up from $681.83 last year, according to the National Retail Federation.

"Consumers will shop with the economy in the back of their minds, but we're starting to see shoppers take baby steps toward a new normal," said Matthew Shay, the federation's president and CEO.

The survey found that nearly 62% of Americans surveyed said that the economy would affect their overall spending; that's down from 65.3% who said that last year. And 82% of those said they would cope with the economy by spending less overall.

BIGresearch conducted the survey for the federation. It polled 8,767 consumers Oct. 5-12; the survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point.

Discounts are expected to continue to drive a lot of holiday shopping with 46% saying the top factor in getting them to spend this year would be sales or price discounts.

This year, smartphone shopping will start to take hold, as more consumers say they will use them
for research or purchases. About 27% of those polled said they would use their smartphones to shop; the number shoots up to 45% in the 18-24 demographic.

Retailers are catering to this by offering smartphone applications, such as Macy's iShop and Barnes & Noble's B&N Bookstore. Some apps allow consumers to view weekly specials, such as the one for JCPenney, but don't allow purchases from the phone. In time, those features, along with reviews and store locators, will become more common.

Another sign that U.S. consumers are feeling better about the economy than they did last year is that 8% more will shop for themselves. This year, average shoppers plan to spend $107.50 on themselves, compared with $101.37 last year.

"As Americans open up their wallets for more discretionary gifts like jewelry or take advantage of sales to buy for themselves, retailers will begin to truly believe that the worst may be behind them," Shay said.

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 deed.

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 wrath forever!

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.

To learn more and to register, please go to:

Please check out -- 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

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 Prevention conference.

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 out of Colorado.

October 19--Mr. Shulman was interviewed on The Michael Eric Dyson radio show on the topic of shoplifting addiction. See

October--Mr. Shulman consulted with Univision spanish-speaking cable TV on a documentary about compulsive shopping/spending in the Hispanic community.

October--Mr. Shulman had an article on compulsive theft and spending featured in the Fall edition of Addiction Professional magazine. See

October--Mr. Shulman had an article and ad featured on

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 Channel.

November 11--Mr. Shulman will be featured on the radio interview on compulsive shopping/spending on out of Colorado.

November--Mr. Shulman to be featured in Real Simple magazine about compulsive shopping/spending.

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.

Beyond November...

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 disorders.

October 1, 2011--Mr. Shulman will be presenting an all-day seminar on compulsive theft & spending & hoarding in the metro-Detroit area.

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 APA.See

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 Recovery" (2003).

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 Recovery" (2003).

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:


Something For Nothing
Biting The Hand That Feeds
Bought Out and $pent

Products for 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 shipping/handling).

Click here to purchase

E-mail Mr. Shulman:


Call  (248) 358-8508