In Pursuit of the Perfect Pearl…Buyer

Paspaley Pearls is the giant (quasi-monopoly?) of the Australian pearling industry, proud of its family business heritage going back to 1935. ING is a multinational finance company, which recently suffered a $45.3 million fraud by a ‘trusted long-time employee’. The fortunes, so to speak, of the two companies thus became intertwined, perhaps like a couture necklace.

The trusted employee was a senior accountant without any formal accounting qualifications. Rajina Subramaniam made 200 illegal transfers into her personal account or directly to shops and real estate agents whilst on a huge shopping spree for five years. Purchases included eight over-priced waterfront apartments – imagine the hand-rubbing, drooling agents.

ING looks like a verb ending, or gerund (oh yes, you young non-grammarians!) looking for its stem, and in this case we would suggest supervising, controlling, checking, auditing, etc. Her defence barrister claimed that her computer record-altering deceptions were ‘not particularly sophisticated’. Other ing words come to mind, like boggling…or appalling, amazing….anyway, you get the idea!

Back to shopping: Rajina’s taste in jewellery showed that pearls are in fact a girl’s best friend, although they may’ve combined with diamonds too, as she splashed out a cool $16 million bagatelle on Paspaley Pearls confections. The nice people at that fine establishment became friends and socialised with RS, but apparently they never asked where she might be getting all that moolah. No looking that gift horse in the mouth!  Even the Paspaley patriarch Nick wined and dined her.

Now, in most social settings someone eventually asks what you do for a crust, and poor conversationalists often make that the first or second question. Imagine Rajina responding: oh I’m an accountant at ING, in charge of multi-million dollar transfers. Mmm. Anyway, it appears that Nick and his minions are first-class conversationalists, as they managed not to mention money or ask about her job for hours on end. Rajina’s photo shows her to be an attractive woman, so maybe her charm was spell-binding. Mmm. RS indeed!

Footnotes: the headline is adapted from Paspaley’s website; and for any ING shareholders, good luck!

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