Michael J. Sato, president at Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty, has been charged with shoplifting three designer ties at the Michigan Avenue Bloomingdale’s store on Black Friday, though his attorney says it was a mistake.
Sato, who has been involved in real estate for 20 years and is on the board of directors at the Chicago Association of Realtors, was spotted slipping two Burberry ties in his coat pocket and one in his shopping bag by a Bloomingdale’s security guard, according to a Chicago Sun-Times story on the arrest. According to court documents cited by the article, Sato then proceeded to the ground level of the floor and past the store vestibule where he would have paid for the $145 ties.
Though Sato is charged with retail theft, his attorney, Jon Erickson, is insisting that the arrest was a big misunderstanding.
“Mr. Sato is a highly respected member of the community and he certainly did not intend to” take the ties, Erickson said in the Sun-Times piece. “It was just a mistake. It was busy. He had his kids with him. It was crowded.”
Sato appeared in court on Saturday, and Erickson highlighted not only the supposedly understandable nature of the “crime,” but also Sato’s clean record and his education at Francis W. Parker School and Denison University. Sato was later released on his own recognizance and is due to return to court next month.
“The evidence will show that it was a misunderstanding,” Erickson also said on Saturday, according to a Chicago Tribune piece on the arrest. “Mr. Sato is a good man, and Mr. Sato didn’t do anything wrong.”