Mass. shoe company executive pleads guilty to embezzling $30 million

MIDDLEBOROUGH 01/09/08--Charles H. Alden founded the Alden Shoe Company in Middleborough in 1884. While other shoe companies have closed, Alden has managed to stay afloat. These photo are taken in the new factory that was built in Middleborough in 1970. Here, different sized "last's," are stored in bins at the factory. The "Last," (cq) is used to form the shoe. slug: 20soalden reporter: Sweeney Globe Staff photo by Steve Haines Steve Haines / The Boston Globe, File

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BOSTON (AP) — A former top executive at a nearly 140-year-old shoe manufacturer in Massachusetts pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzling $30 million from the company and spending it on luxury items and travel for himself and another person, federal prosecutors in Boston said.

Richard Hajjar, 64, the former chief financial officer of Alden Shoe Co., admitted to wire fraud, unlawful monetary transactions and filing a false tax return, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.

He faces more than 30 years in prison at sentencing on Sept. 15.

Hajjar, of Duxbury, embezzled the money from 2011 until he was fired in 2019, by writing checks to himself from company bank accounts and transferring funds from company accounts to his personal accounts and to another person.


He used some of the money to buy jewelry, including a $158,000 diamond ring, a New York City condominium, and private flights to the Caribbean, according to court documents.

He faced the tax charge because he failed to report the proceeds of his embezzlement as income on his tax returns, thereby failing to pay approximately $5 million in taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, prosecutors said.

The Middleborough-based Alden Shoe Co., which makes high-end dress shoes and other footwear, was founded in 1884, according to its website.

Alden has filed a separate complaint in state Superior Court in an attempt to recover some of the money.

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