A former Vans executive, Scott Brabson, and a Former Columbia Sportswear executive who was consulting for Vans, Jay Rosendahl, are facing a 13-count federal indictment for bribery, money laundering, and mail & wire fraud. The pair allegedly worked together to extort kickbacks out of Chinese factories that produced Vans shoes. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 95 years in prison.
The allegations result from actions which took place between 1997 and 2000 where Brabson and Rosendahl forced seven Chinese factories to pay 3% to 5% kickbacks on all Vans orders. The pair then wired the money through Hong Kong and Luxembourg banks, eventually funneling the funds into a shell corporation in Luxembourg. The alleged conspirators extorted $4.7 million over the three year period. According to a local paper, both Rosendahl and Brabson were arrested at their homes earlier this week. Rosendahl appeared before a U.S. Magistrate in California and was released on bail to await trial.