Dooney & Bourke co-founder Frederic Bourke, convicted of federal conspiracy charges for his role in a plot to bribe officials in Azerbaijan on Friday, is keeping his title as chairman of accessories firm Dooney & Bourke.
Bourke, 63, hasn’t been “actively involved in the company for years,” but continues to have “a financial relationship” with the privately held business, Dooney & Bourke attorney Thomas McAndrew said Monday.
“This is indeed an unfortunate situation,” McAndrew said. “It’s tragic for Mr. Bourke. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
Peter Dooney will remain president and chief operating officer of the East Norwalk, Conn.-based firm, which was founded 34 years ago and had total sales of $300 million at retail, according to reports last year.
Neither Dooney nor Bourke could be reached for comment.
“Peter Dooney is the creative genius behind the company,” McAndrew said. “He’s responsible for the development of the line and will continue to do so. He runs the company at the present day.”
McAndrew would not discuss how the conviction might affect the company or Bourke’s role.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen with post-trial motions,” he said. “It’s hard to speculate, and we won’t.”
Bourke faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and $500,000 in fines when he is sentenced Oct. 13 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. A jury found him guilty on Friday of being part of an investment group that paid hundreds of millions of dollars in cash, stock and gifts to administrators in the former Soviet state in the late Nineties to ensure the purchase of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic through a rigged auction.
Last year, Dooney & Bourke, known for its classic American leather bags, made a push into Asia with its first store outside the U.S. Stores were planned in Macau, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia. In the U.S., the firm has nine freestanding boutiques in locations such as New York, Las Vegas, Dallas and Honolulu.
The firm’s advertising campaigns typically feature the hot starlets of the moment, most recently Hayden Panettiere.
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