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      CommentAuthort0rrent
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2011
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    A disgraced former Fry's Electronics executive has pleaded guilty to two felony charges in a wide-ranging criminal Internal Revenue Service case and could face up to six years in federal prison.  
    A plea agreement unsealed this week in the case of Ausaf "Omar" Siddiqui shows the Palo Alto resident, once a vice president at Fry's, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. He is expected to be sentenced before U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel on Dec. 8.  
    In exchange for the plea and agreeing to cooperate in any further government investigations, federal prosecutors dropped seven other felony charges against Siddiqui that were contained in the original indictment that accused him of wire fraud and money laundering totaling $6 million.  
     
    As part of the agreement, which had been under seal since February, Siddiqui admitted that from 2004 to November 2008, he set up a scheme to defraud Fry's "in order to induce Fry's vendors to pay money to me and not Fry's."  
    He admitted to setting up sham companies for vendors to pay kickbacks to him, and said that vendors had secret agreements to pay him kickbacks to do business with Fry's, the agreement states. Siddiqui admitted that on numerous occasions, vendors sometimes gave "loans" "amounting to millions of dollars" to his sham companies, the agreement states.  
    Siddiqui admitted that "as a result of the kickback scheme, Fry's overpaid for merchandise from the  
     
    vendors by at least the amount of the kickbacks paid to me" and the sham companies, the agreement states.  
    Fry's has repeatedly claimed no knowledge of this scheme, denied customers were ever affected negatively and fired Siddiqui shortly after his December 2008 arrest by IRS agents. Tuesday, Fry's spokesman Manuel Valerio was not immediately available for comment.  
     
    In addition to possibly receiving a maximum of six years in prison, Siddiqui also agreed to pay $65 million in restitution; he's allowed to subtract out what the government has already taken from him, including about $54,000 in bank accounts, $30,000 in cash, a 2006 Mercedes and a 2002 Ferrari.  
    It's unclear how he'll pay the restitution in light of his July bankruptcy filing listing $137 million in debt -- much of that owed to casinos around the world. He was once a prized "whale" in Vegas, a high roller who demanded that casino butlers and bellboys call him "Mr. S" and fill his room with golden raisins, bottles of Dom PĂ©rignon and Glitterati Mentissimo peppermints adorned with a single rose.  
    Siddiqui also faces several civil lawsuits from vendors, totaling at least $10 million. The lawsuits name both Siddiqui and Fry's as co-defendants, arguing that the company was aware of what Siddiqui was doing. Fry's has denied any wrongdoing.  
     
    Much about this case has been kept private and some of it has been under seal. Siddiqui himself has refused to speak to this newspaper, as have his defense attorney, Paul Meltzer, and assistant U.S. attorney Thomas Moore.  
    Siddiqui's agreement in February was sealed for unknown reasons, and in a surprising turn, Moore's office requested that the judge unseal the deal in late August, which the judge did Friday.
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      CommentAuthorEffFrys
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2011
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    6 years??? that's all???
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      CommentAuthort0rrent
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2011
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    Feds probably feel there are bigger fish to fry with his help. He will still have to find a way to pay 65mil in Restitution plus about 10mil in lawsuits.
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      CommentAuthorskullywag
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2011
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    t0rrent: Feds probably feel there are bigger fish to fry with his help. He will still have to find a way to pay 65mil in Restitution plus about 10mil in lawsuits.
     
     
    Yup, bigger fish. He'll rat out some compadres that will get SEVEN years in jail. I wouldn't hold my breath on anyone seeing any of that 65 mil either.
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      CommentAuthort0rrent
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2011
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    Ehh they did seize some assets to pay, but yea, no one will get the full amount. Unless he wants to live under a bridge and off himself at some point after he's released though, he'll get a job where half his wages wind up garnished. Not much but it's some payback. Plus he's now a felon for the rest of his life.
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      CommentAuthorgobo760
    • CommentTimeSep 18th 2011
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    lol, this has got to be one of the funniest things I've ever read. When did this all go down again? 2009? 2008? It shows you how much the Fry's brothers are actually in the loop when all the vendors have no way of contacting them and saying "we'd really prefer to not pay millions of dollars to your vice president, who's laundering all your money, just so we can sell our routers in your store."  
     
    Whenever Randy comes to our store, he's like The Flash. Everyone gathers in the entry way to cheer for him and then he's in and out before anyone can actually say, "was Randy just here?"
  2.  permalink
    gobo760: lol, this has got to be one of the funniest things I've ever read. When did this all go down again? 2009? 2008? It shows you how much the Fry's brothers are actually in the loop when all the vendors have no way of contacting them and saying "we'd really prefer to not pay millions of dollars to your vice president, who's laundering all your money, just so we can sell our routers in your store.
     
     
    The part that always made me wonder is twice Randy gave a personal loan of $5 million to a guy that was making $221,000 a year and didn't think anything was fishy.  
     
    Plus you'd think after Omar lost the first million he'd have spent like $9.95 on a Blackjack for dummies book because obviously he was a bad player.