Skip to comments.Fry's executive with huge gambling debt accused of fraud (electronics store)
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 ...
He is Fried
Ausaf Umar Siddiqui
Noe I know why everyone that works in there is a ‘ferner’
I wonder if he made more money on the returns that they tape up and sell at full price?
Them there “ferners” gipped me out of a rebate. They suck!
Sounds like “Pic-N-Save” ,, same kind of fraud ,, they went under because of it..
No doubt. I haven’t been in a Frys in 7 years
Newegg.com all the way baby
Me too! L0L
Wonder if anyone else here has had the same thing happen to them.
Maybe we’re onto something. Class lawsuit. LOL
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
Sadly, They aren’t alone on the rebate BS
“Your worst buys are always at Fry’s”
www.geocities sucks too
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?
I guess you have to ship it back.
Everything I have ever bought from them worked as advertised.
Look at their return policy.
Hmm... it appears neweeg also has a restocking fee
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.
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.
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
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?
I refuse all rebates now. If it has a rebate, I don’t buy it. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Yup. I just want an honest deal.
I didn’t see any savings on the IPod Classic. Walmart has it at the same price.
Those policies would weigh heavily in the decision to buy through them or not.
Thanks for your help!
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.
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.
The one in Plano Tx is just as bad
Anyone have an idea why the "clean-shaven" detail is important to this story?
Send treats to the troops...
Great because you did it!
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).
I’m in Tx
They should have checked his receipts every time he left the building.
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.”
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!
Now thats funny!
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.
Spelled "Venetian" for you non-journalists who are interested in accuracy. ;)
Las Vegas Sands is the holding company.
The one in Las Vegas is kind of a Filipino Expatriate Club.
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.
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.
$162 million in three years. Somewhere in Vegas, this evening, there are some very tired ladies.
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!
Omar stole $65 million, but spent $162 million gambling, sounds as if the legbreaker are looking for him.
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.
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.
Yup Yup and Yup
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