Sentencing of Grand Union Embezzler Postponed, Again

Mar 01, 2002

For a second time in two months, federal authorities have postponed the sentencing of former Grand Union Co. executive Donald C. Vaillancourt, who has admitted embezzling more than $2 million from the now-defunct supermarket chain, reports Grocery Retail Online. The sentencing of Vaillancourt and his wife, Dianne Vaillancourt, was scheduled for Tuesday at the U.S. District Court in Newark, but has been pushed back to April 11, a court official said. The sentencings were originally set for early January.

Vaillancourt, 58, is a former vice president, public affairs counsel, and corporate secretary for Grand Union. He faces up to five years in prison and $4.8 million in fines. In September, he admitted to systematically stealing money over a 16-year period, using dummy companies to bill the Wayne-based supermarket chain for graphic arts services never performed. A month later, Dianne Vaillancourt, 56, pleaded guilty to failing to notify authorities about the scheme. She had not been officially charged, but in papers filed in District Court, she admitted her role in registering the dummy companies, opening bank accounts, and depositing checks from Grand Union.

Moderator Comment: Does the penalty match the crime
and is it deterrent enough to prevent the same thing from happening elsewhere?

It wasn’t as if Grand Union didn’t have enough problems
without being ripped off by its own employees (management at that). At the time
of Mr. Vaillancourt’s arrest, the consensus of those we spoke with was that
it couldn’t have happened to a “nicer” guy.

Thirty-seven months, even five years, is not enough of
a penalty. Mr. Vaillancourt’s deceit not only robbed his co-workers in Grand
Union’s headquarters but every associate working for the company, vendors, and
shareholders. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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