Anorak News | Money, Money, Money

Money, Money, Money

by | 21st, January 2004

‘CATHERINE Zeta Jones famously told a court last year that a million pounds was not a lot of money to her and her husband Michael Douglas.

Decorating advice for cells and student bedsits

But you imagine that she would notice if someone stuck a hand into the change pocket of her purse and relieved her of such a sum.

A million pounds is clearly not a lot of money to Scott Mead, a former managing director of Goldman Sachs, either.

It apparently took him almost four months to notice when £2.25m was taken out of his account in a single transaction – money allegedly stolen by secretary Joyti De-Laurey.

The 35-year-old is charged with stealing more than £4m from Mead and her two previous bosses, Jennifer Moses and Ron Beller, to finance a massive spending spree – a charge she denies.

According to a report in this morning’s Telegraph, she spent the money on several properties (including a £700,000 villa in Cyprus), several cars (including the deposit on a £175,000 Aston Martin V12 Vanquish) and £300,000 of Cartier jewellery.

The prosecution says De-Laurey was planning to move to Cyprus permanently just before her arrest – ‘but her plans were halted by Mr Mead’s discovery that about £3.3m had disappeared from his personal account’.

Sharing front-page space with Mrs De-Laurey in the Telegraph is Martha Stewart, America’s interior decorating queen, who is also on trial in front of 12 of her peers.

She faces 30 years in jail and a fine of more than $1m if found guilty of fraud and obstructing justice, relating to claims that she lied about a share sale.

At least, if convicted, she would have the best decorated cell in prison – even if she didn’t have much opportunity to spend a personal net worth estimated at $400m.

All of which conspicuous displays of excessive wealth and alleged greed are not designed to make students, at odds with the Government over university top-up fees, feel good about life.

And nor is the story, also in this morning’s Telegraph, that students are leaving college with debts of £8,000 – even before the introduction of top-up fees.

A Mori poll today shows that student debt has risen by 74% in four years – an indication either that students are more comfortable with higher levels of debt or that the price of soap and text-books has been rising much faster than inflation.’

Posted: 21st, January 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink