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Fry's executive with huge gambling debt accused of fraud (electronics store)
Daily News ^ | 12/22/08 | By Lisa Fernandez, San Jose Mercury News

Posted on 12/22/2008 5:27:48 PM PST by BurbankKarl

one-time computer salesman who rose through the ranks to help build Fry's Electronics into a robust national retailer is facing allegations that he defrauded the San Jose-based company out of $65 million, much of which he used to pay off enormous gambling debts in Las Vegas. Ausaf Umar Siddiqui, 42, who goes by "Omar" and has been Fry's vice president of merchandising and operations, appeared in federal court today, where prosecutors filed a complaint that alleges he was involved in a "secret kickback scheme to defraud Fry's Electronics of millions of dollars."

Fry's executives didn't know about the illegal kickbacks, the federal complaint states. The alleged scheme occurred from 2005 until mid-October when a Fry's high-level employee walked into Siddiqui's office in San Jose and saw confidential spreadsheets, letters and extraordinarily high commission amounts on Siddiqui's desk.

Siddiqui is expected to be formally charged in U.S. District Court on Jan. 15, on counts of money-laundering and wire fraud.

According to the complaint, which was unsealed today, Siddiqui convinced Fry's that the company should eliminate sales representatives on his accounts, and instead, he'd act as a middleman between vendors and Fry's. He promised that he'd save Fry's a lot of money that way.

But instead, the complaint alleges, he ended up charging exorbitant commissions - up to 31 percent, or ten times the normal amount - to the vendors, which he funneled to his own "straw" company PC International. Vendors were guaranteed steady business, so Siddiqui would have a steady cash flow to pay off casinos. Siddiqui spent $162 million in three years at just two of his favorites, the MGM Grand Casino and Las Vegas Sands Casino, according to his bank statements detailed in the complaint written by IRS Agent Andres Gonzalez.

(Excerpt) Read more at dailynews.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: frys; siddiqui
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1 posted on 12/22/2008 5:27:48 PM PST by BurbankKarl
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To: BurbankKarl

He is Fried


2 posted on 12/22/2008 5:28:59 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: BurbankKarl

Ausaf Umar Siddiqui

Noe I know why everyone that works in there is a ‘ferner’


3 posted on 12/22/2008 5:30:09 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife

I wonder if he made more money on the returns that they tape up and sell at full price?


4 posted on 12/22/2008 5:33:37 PM PST by BurbankKarl
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To: mylife

Them there “ferners” gipped me out of a rebate. They suck!


5 posted on 12/22/2008 5:34:56 PM PST by TribalPrincess2U (Welcome to Obama's America... Be afraid, be very afraid)
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To: BurbankKarl

Sounds like “Pic-N-Save” ,, same kind of fraud ,, they went under because of it..


6 posted on 12/22/2008 5:35:36 PM PST by Neidermeyer
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To: BurbankKarl

No doubt. I haven’t been in a Frys in 7 years

Newegg.com all the way baby


7 posted on 12/22/2008 5:38:00 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: TribalPrincess2U

Me too! L0L


8 posted on 12/22/2008 5:38:26 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife

Wonder if anyone else here has had the same thing happen to them.
Maybe we’re onto something. Class lawsuit. LOL


9 posted on 12/22/2008 5:41:27 PM PST by TribalPrincess2U (Welcome to Obama's America... Be afraid, be very afraid)
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To: BurbankKarl

Frys is great for buying lots of “undocumented chinese stuff cheap”

What really pisses me off, is the way they herd you through cattle chutes.

Nope, couldn’t abide Fry’s


10 posted on 12/22/2008 5:44:28 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: TribalPrincess2U

Sadly, They aren’t alone on the rebate BS


11 posted on 12/22/2008 5:45:23 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: BurbankKarl

“Your worst buys are always at Fry’s”

http://www.geocities.com/tarahertz/frys-sucks.html";>


12 posted on 12/22/2008 5:48:35 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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www.geocities sucks too


13 posted on 12/22/2008 5:49:53 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife

Would you happen to know how one would go about returning a purchase from an online store such as Newegg.com if the item happened to be, say, a 52 inch LCD TV or some other large item?


14 posted on 12/22/2008 5:50:08 PM PST by hole_n_one
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http://www.billzhouse.com/rants/frys.html


15 posted on 12/22/2008 5:50:41 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: hole_n_one

I guess you have to ship it back.

Everything I have ever bought from them worked as advertised.

Look at their return policy.


16 posted on 12/22/2008 5:52:37 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: hole_n_one

Hmm... it appears neweeg also has a restocking fee


17 posted on 12/22/2008 5:54:20 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife
Does Newegg.com pay the return shipping cost for defective merchandise?

No, Newegg.com does not pay the return shipping cost for defective merchandise. We are not responsible for product defects, because we do not manufacture the products we carry. However, if you pay to send the item back to Newegg.com, we will replace the item and ship the replacement to you at no charge. Newegg.com will employ every resource it has to ensure that your item is replaced promptly, without hassle.

From their FAQ

That could be a problem.

18 posted on 12/22/2008 5:56:55 PM PST by hole_n_one
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To: hole_n_one

The return policy looks decent

When and why are restocking fees applied? How much is deducted when a return is subject to a restocking fee?

There is a restocking fee of 15% on all returns for refund (RMA Refund), unless waived by a Customer Support Agent. We charge this 15% restocking fee for all returns for refund to encourage customers to purchase products they intend to keep. We offer RMA Replacement without any restocking fee to support customers who have received a defective product. For CPU and Memory refunds, any restocking fee we use will be a reflection on current market value for the same cpu item. Newegg.com does not support attempts to profit from CPU and Memory price fluctuations.


19 posted on 12/22/2008 5:58:59 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: BurbankKarl

I have been trying to submit a product test sample to them for awhile - never could get through to anybody-guess I was not on the list


20 posted on 12/22/2008 6:01:39 PM PST by underbyte (TEOTEWAKI)
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To: hole_n_one

I was just about to post that.

Depends on how much you save on the item I suppose.
If you can buy it down the street at the brick and mortar store for the same price why would you buy it online anyway?


21 posted on 12/22/2008 6:02:38 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife

I refuse all rebates now. If it has a rebate, I don’t buy it. It’s a lose-lose situation.


22 posted on 12/22/2008 6:02:49 PM PST by TribalPrincess2U (Welcome to Obama's America... Be afraid, be very afraid)
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To: TribalPrincess2U

Yup. I just want an honest deal.


23 posted on 12/22/2008 6:04:23 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife

I didn’t see any savings on the IPod Classic. Walmart has it at the same price.
249.00 total.


24 posted on 12/22/2008 6:05:55 PM PST by TribalPrincess2U (Welcome to Obama's America... Be afraid, be very afraid)
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To: mylife
They seem to have different return policies depending on the item purchased.

Those policies would weigh heavily in the decision to buy through them or not.

Thanks for your help!

25 posted on 12/22/2008 6:06:32 PM PST by hole_n_one
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To: mylife
If you live in the area, try Central Computer. They don't have nearly the inventory, but it's a nice, relaxed atmosphere, and they seem to be run by real computer savvy people.
26 posted on 12/22/2008 6:07:03 PM PST by shorty_harris
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To: BurbankKarl

Fry’s seems to be United Nations front operation...best I can tell. I don’t know about other states, but there are some strange people working in that place here in Tx.


27 posted on 12/22/2008 6:07:13 PM PST by Dysart (Don't forget your change, America)
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To: TribalPrincess2U

I cant help you there.

Walmart does sell alot of stuff like that cheap because they have the volume.

In that case I would buy at walmart. Sometimes I would buy a thing like that at newegg if I was sending it as a gift just so I didnt have to fool with shipping.

Of course you could get it at walmart.com in that case and it would be easier for the recipient to return if needed.


28 posted on 12/22/2008 6:12:26 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Dysart

The one in Plano Tx is just as bad


29 posted on 12/22/2008 6:13:04 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: BurbankKarl
For his part, a clean-shaven Siddiqui appeared worried and serious in court today.

Anyone have an idea why the "clean-shaven" detail is important to this story?


----

Send treats to the troops...
Great because you did it!
www.AnySoldier.com

30 posted on 12/22/2008 6:13:32 PM PST by JCG
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To: Dysart

We have a couple of Frys in my area, I’ve always had good luck with them. Now you can order from their online site and pick up at the store, I did that a few weeks ago and it worked out great. I bought Polk speakers and a Harmon Kardon receiver from them at outrageous prices. My sister just ordered a laptop from them and it’s being sent to an FPO box, we’ll see how that turns out (she’s hoping to have it for Christmas).


31 posted on 12/22/2008 6:13:42 PM PST by Oshkalaboomboom
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To: shorty_harris

I’m in Tx


32 posted on 12/22/2008 6:13:45 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: BurbankKarl

They should have checked his receipts every time he left the building.


33 posted on 12/22/2008 6:21:57 PM PST by Harpo Speaks (Honk! Honk! Honk! Either it's foggy out, or make that a dozen hard boiled eggs.)
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To: Harpo Speaks

lol!


34 posted on 12/22/2008 6:22:50 PM PST by hole_n_one
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To: BurbankKarl

I’ve got a buddy that was in Germany and wandered into a retail store wearing a similar outfit to the uniforms of the sales people. People kept coming up to him and asking him questions in German. When he related the story to me he said “They were asking me questions about products I knew nothing about in a language I don’t speak, and I finally understood what it would be like to work for Fry’s.”


35 posted on 12/22/2008 6:25:42 PM PST by amchugh (large and largely disgruntled)
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To: mylife
I didn't see you had posted that "ferner" line till now. LOL

I was pretty sure it wasn't purely the product of my lively imagination, but still... I avoid the place because it just creeps me out and I don't cotton to promising my first born and all future inheritances, etc when i present them payment in the form of otherwise perfectly legal tender. Weirdos!

36 posted on 12/22/2008 6:29:07 PM PST by Dysart (Don't forget your change, America)
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To: Dysart
So ya don't like the ambiance eh? ☺
37 posted on 12/22/2008 6:31:17 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: amchugh

Now thats funny!


38 posted on 12/22/2008 6:32:19 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: BurbankKarl

Heheh. Funny story for my former employer.

I remember I used to enjoy going to Fry’s. Until I began working there (before being ‘let go’ on not so wonderful terms). They may have the best prices (usually), but the customer service situation, the politics (not Dem, Rep, more the way the store is fun), just really got to me.

Glad I no longer work there. Not glad that I didn’t leave on my own terms but, eh, that’s life.


39 posted on 12/22/2008 6:46:21 PM PST by Simmy2.5
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To: BurbankKarl
Las Vegas Sands Casino

Spelled "Venetian" for you non-journalists who are interested in accuracy. ;)

Las Vegas Sands is the holding company.

40 posted on 12/22/2008 6:54:24 PM PST by Mr. Jeeves ("One man's 'magic' is another man's engineering. 'Supernatural' is a null word." -- Robert Heinlein)
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To: Dysart
Fry’s seems to be United Nations front operation...

The one in Las Vegas is kind of a Filipino Expatriate Club.

41 posted on 12/22/2008 6:56:22 PM PST by Mr. Jeeves ("One man's 'magic' is another man's engineering. 'Supernatural' is a null word." -- Robert Heinlein)
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Interesting. I always thought that Frys was a central california thing. I’m surprised that they’re all the way to Texas.

It always did seem odd that the Frys in silicon valley had overwhelmingly east-indian looking employees. often wondered why they weren’t up for some sort of race-bias employment practices suit.


42 posted on 12/22/2008 7:03:01 PM PST by Rio (Don't make me come over there....)
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To: amchugh
I was in Vienna one evening at the U-Bahn station looking at the system map when an elderly and slightly inebriated Burgher stumbled up to me and asked me if I could help him find his way home.

I'd been in the city at that time for approximately one day, and my German wasn't so hot either, so I had to tell him that I probably couldn't help.

At least it proved that I looked like a native.

≤}B^)

43 posted on 12/22/2008 7:10:05 PM PST by Erasmus (Yes, English is my first language. I'm hoping to do better on my second.)
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To: BurbankKarl

$162 million in three years. Somewhere in Vegas, this evening, there are some very tired ladies.


44 posted on 12/22/2008 7:53:31 PM PST by ArmstedFragg
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To: BurbankKarl

The irony is simply ironic. Fry’s has a reputation of the most security conscious retailer. There have been newspaper articles detailing their policies. Their stores are built like castles, windowless, narrow, single exits, where each customer must produce the receipt for every item in the bag. The management doesn’t trust its store employees either. A very difficult environment to work in. But hey, the execs, the MBAs, walk away with zillions!


45 posted on 12/22/2008 7:58:29 PM PST by Revolting cat!
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To: BurbankKarl

Omar stole $65 million, but spent $162 million gambling, sounds as if the legbreaker are looking for him.


46 posted on 12/22/2008 7:59:55 PM PST by razorback-bert (Save the planet...it is the only known one with beer!)
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To: Revolting cat!

You know, over the years I’ve found that when I’m working for a management that doesn’t trust the employees it’s usually because they’re afraid we’re up to the same shenanigans they’re up to.


47 posted on 12/22/2008 8:02:30 PM PST by ArmstedFragg
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To: mylife

Gas costs, time, hassle, lack of urgency on replacement...or the usual point that I *can’t* find what I need locally, or can’t find as good or as reasonably priced.

Newegg’s cheaper than the local stores for comparable products and tends to have things that I just can’t get here very easily, like fans for my old systems or dirt cheap smaller hard drives. $30 for a new in the box 80 GB WDC when I needed one in a pinch? Heck yeah.


48 posted on 12/22/2008 8:20:12 PM PST by Fire_on_High (Regroup!)
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To: Fire_on_High

Yup Yup and Yup


49 posted on 12/22/2008 8:21:26 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: TribalPrincess2U; All
I refuse all rebates now. If it has a rebate, I don’t buy it. It’s a lose-lose situation.


There is a way to win....

If another local store has an “advertised price match” policy, they will usually match the rebated price.

At least in AZ, this works out better, since you pay sales tax on pre-rebate price - so the final effect is that you save the sales tax on the rebate amount...:^)

PS - I also like www.newegg.com

50 posted on 12/22/2008 9:49:18 PM PST by az_gila (AZ - need less democrats)
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