Former Home Depot Manager Charged in Kickback Scheme
Atlanta A former Home Depot store manager will plead guilty to wire fraud and other charges in a kickback scheme to make money by connecting foreign flooring suppliers with buyers who chose products for the giant retailer, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Anthony Tesvich, 42, is expected to plead guilty to three counts of tax evasion and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, the newspaper reported. He faces up to 35 years in prison and a minimum fine of $250,000, plus restitution to Home Depot.
A civil complaint filed in January by U.S. Attorney David Nahmias in Atlanta alleges Tesvich took payoffs from foreign vendors to ensure those vendors’ products were chosen for display in Home Depot stores. After Tesvich left the company, the complaint alleges, he also gave substantial cash payments to co-conspirator employees at Home Depot. The scheme occurred between October 2002 and October 2007, according to court documents.
The case is being investigated by the IRS, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI. Home Depot has cooperated in the federal investigation, according to the Department of Justice.
Costco 3Q sales up 13%
ISSAQUAH, Wash. Costco Wholesale reported that net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 increased 13% to $16.26 billion, from $14.34 billion during the third quarter of fiscal 2007.
The company reported that U.S. comparable-store sales for the quarter increased 6%. This increase reflects the recent rise in gas prices. Excluding this, Costco said U.S. comps would have increased 4%.
Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 was $295.1 million, or 67 cents per diluted share, compared to $224 million, or 49 cents per diluted share, during the third quarter of fiscal 2007.
Sears Holdings posts 1Q loss
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears Holdings reported a net loss of $56 million, or 43 cents loss per diluted share, for the first quarter ended May 3, compared with net income of $223 million, or $1.45 per diluted share, for the first quarter ended May 5, 2007.
For the quarter, Sears Domestic’s comparable-store sales declined 9.8% while Kmart’s comparable-store sales declined 7.1%. Total domestic comparable-store sales declined 8.6%. Sears contributed the comps decline to increased competition and weakness in the general economy and housing market, as well as the impact on its customers of the increased costs of consumer staples such as food and gas.
“Our first quarter results reflect the difficult economic environment and intense competition for consumer business. That said, since May 3, 2008, our sales declines have moderated somewhat,” said Bruce Johnson, Sears Holdings’ interim ceo and president. “As a result of actions we have taken and will continue to take to manage our costs, our current forecast for 2008 reflects higher EBITDA than we achieved last year. At the same time we are managing costs, we will continue to invest in our future by hiring talented leaders and improving our online and multi-channel capabilities.”