Crime

Ex-Mass. shoe company exec gets nearly 6 years for embezzlement

Charles H. Alden founded the Alden Shoe Company in Middleborough in 1884. Boston Globe file


BOSTON (AP) — A former executive at a nearly 140-year-old shoe manufacturer in Massachusetts has been sentenced to nearly six years in prison for 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., was also sentenced Wednesday to three years of probation and ordered to pay more than $60 million in restitution and penalties.

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, prosecutors said.

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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 then failed to report the proceeds of his embezzlement as income on his tax returns.

Hajjar pleaded guilty in May to wire fraud, unlawful monetary transactions and filing a false tax return.

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

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