Law Firms

Employee’s Alleged Tab-Divider Scam Cost Wilson Sonsini $1M, Prosecutors Say

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Federal prosecutors have accused a purchasing specialist at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati of conspiring with top employees of an office supply company to bilk the law firm out of $1 million for index tab dividers that were never ordered or delivered.

A federal grand jury in San Jose indicted Wilson Sonsini purchasing specialist John Masakazu Tashiro and two employees of Attorneys Printing Supply, company president Carlos Ivan Vargas Sr. and Daniel Jose Dominguez, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

The APS employees are accused of paying kickbacks to Tashiro for his fraudulent orders in a scheme that lasted from September 2002 to November 2006, according to the indictment (PDF). Prosecutors say the law firm was overcharged by $1 million.

The three men were charged with conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to a press release.

The indictment says Tashiro handled legitimate as well as fraudulent orders, and approved all of the invoices. He placed some orders for as many as 81,500 tab dividers, used to index sections of large reports. The online price for a package of eight is about $6, the Mercury News says.

The story says the numbers cited in the indictment suggested Tashiro’s alleged take was relatively small in relation to the money lost by the law firm. Several of his kickback checks allegedly ranged from $1,000 to $1,500.

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