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Harsha Agadi, Friendly's CEO, Billed Chain $243,000 In Expenses Before It Went Bankrupt

Harsha Agadi Friendlys Ceo

First Posted: 11/18/11 02:13 PM ET Updated: 11/18/11 04:23 PM ET

The CEO of Friendly's sent the ice cream giant hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of expenses the year before the company filed for bankruptcy.

Harsha Agadi billed Friendly's $234,000 for expenses the year before the company went bankrupt the Wall Street Journal reports. That's on top of the $190,000 the company spent to move Agadi when he became the restaurant-chain's head last year. Friendly's filed for bankruptcy last month, closing more than 60 stores and slashing more than 1,000 jobs.

Agadi's expense reports may seem outlandish, particularly given the company's tenuous financial state but it's not uncommon for employees to expense employers for large sums or for things that aren't actually a company expense. The Austin, Texas-based Association of Certified Fraud Examiners said that fabricated expense reports accounted for 13 percent of all employee thefts in the U.S., according to ABC News.

Agadi isn't the first CEO of a troubled company to net huge perks. Leo Apothecker, the former head of Hewlett-Packard, took home $13.2 million in cash and stock severance last month after his run with the company ended. Another former HP CEO Mark Hurd was forced to resign after he tried to hide a relationship by falsifying expense reports.

Robert Kelly, the former CEO of Bank of New York Mellon, got a severance worth $17.2 million after he was pushed out of the bank and Carol Batz, the former CEO of Yahoo netted $10 million after she was fired from the company, according to the NYT.

And other CEOs have made headlines recently for taking home huge pay packages not to do their jobs. Douglas Foshee, the head of El Paso -- the natural gas pipeline operator acquired by Kinder Morgan last month -- is eligible for an exit package worth $95 million if he leaves the company within two years of the merger. Eugene Isenberg, the former CEO of Nabors Industries, took home $100 million in cash for dropping his title of CEO last month.

But huge severance packages or the ability to expense hundreds of thousands of dollars aren't the only perks of being a big-time CEO. Despite the economic downturn, corporate chiefs are still netting corporate jet access, country club memberships, financial planning services and other perks as part of their compensation packages, according to USA Today.

And even without the perks, corporate executives are taking home bigger paychecks than they were before; CEO pay went up 27 percent on average in 2010, according to Labor Department figures cited by PBS.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post mistakenly said Leo Apothecker was fired for falsifying expense reports. It was former HP CEO Mark Hurd that was fired after he tried to hide a relationship by falsifying expense reports.
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Filed by Jillian Berman  |