Former HP executive assistant sentenced to prison for stealing nearly $1m

Holli Dawn Coulman was accused of using company money for holidays, luxury clothings and spa treatments

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The Independent Online

A woman working as an executive assistant at software company Hewlett Packard has been sentenced to 21 months in prison after using company credit cards for Apple products, a $100,000 spa vacation and even a trip to Hawaii.

Holli Dawn Coulman, 45 who worked at HP from 2008 to 2012, used her position to manage credit cards for approved business expenditure. She was accused of using them to "support an extravagant and luxurious lifestyle," the FBI said.

During her time at the company, Coulman spent nearly $1 million including thousands of dollars for flights to Hawaii and Europe, over $100,000 at the La Costa Resort Spa, $43,000 at the Lodge at Pebble Beach and Casa Palmero, more than $33,000 in BTO Sports motocross gear and thousands of dollars on Apple items, high-end clothing from Neiman Marcus and Nordstroms.

Coulman also admitted using the company credit cards to pay for more than $350,000 in expenses accrued by her brother’s custom painting business in Colorado.

The former executive assistant pleaded guilty to wire fraud last year in San Diego federal court and was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Monday.

She was also ordered to pay $954,000 restitution in instalments of $3,000 per month.

According to federal court records, she would intercept and delete emails inquiring about the expenditures. She would also fabricate receipts and invoices to cover her tracks.

Coulman expressed deep remorse for her actions in a letter she wrote to the court, as reported in the San Diego Union Tribune. She told the judge that “I cannot offer any explanation for the criminally bad decisions I’ve made ...I would love for a do over, and admittedly I am scared to death to go to prison ... But I know there must be consequences."