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Bribery and Corruption Casebook: The View from Under the Table by Laura Hymes, Joseph T. Wells

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CHAPTER 11

But We Thought He Was Saving Us Millions

GARY E. GAUGLER

Michiel (Mick) Segovia had moved to the United States as a child. In his mid-30s, married with two young children, he was an aggressive staff-level buyer. Considered a peak performer in his department, Mick was quietly confident in the workplace but exhibited a consistent neck twitch in interpersonal exchanges. He had been a buyer for more than 15 years and employed at Union & Viceroy (U&V) for almost ten. Taking advantage of one of the company’s benefits, he was working toward his college degree at night. Beyond his mild arrogance, he was relatively nondescript. No fancy car; a nice yet modest two-story house; and no reputation for flamboyant clothes, possessions, vacations or lifestyle. He seemed to most observers to simply be a middle-class man living a middle-class life. Soon we would learn that he was a millionaire.

U&V, a successful and growing third-generation manufacturer of metal construction components, had never experienced a significant fraud, nor did we have any reason to believe one had been occurring for almost ten years. It was a tight-knit company where employees were trusted like family members. Although run like a professional and profitable business, the culture could be described as congenial and benevolent. That innocence all changed when our CEO received a Good Samaritan phone call from Greg Angelese, the new owner of HQ Distributors, a former supplier. HQ had gone into bankruptcy and was ...

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