Posted by on January 14, 2022 12:09 pm
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New Mexico school employee sentenced for stealing 3,000 iPods meant for Native American children

An advertisement for the new Apple Nano at the entrance of an Apple store in Palo Alto, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) Paul Sakuma/ASSOCIATED PRESS

New Mexico school employee sentenced for stealing 3,000 iPods meant for Native American children

Christopher Hutton January 14, 11:48 AMJanuary 14, 11:48 AM

A former employee of a New Mexico school district was sentenced to 18 months in prison after stealing and reselling Apple iPods meant for Native American children in poor communities.

Kristy Stock will spend more than a year behind bars after she exploited her position at the Central Consolidated School District in New Mexico, stealing iPods intended for Native American children and selling them to an eBay dealer who specialized in stolen tech, according to a Wednesday announcement from the Department of Justice.

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Stock admitted during a plea agreement she had stolen more than 3,000 iPods between 2013 and 2018 for a personal gain of $800,000, according to a DOJ press release.

It is unclear whether Stock took iPods that were in use or if she purchased the devices with leftover federal grant money.

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Stock said she sold iPods to Saurabh Chawla, who sold stolen tech products on eBay between 2015 and 2018 through accounts owned by James Bender, the press release added.

Chawla was convicted in September on federal charges of conspiracy, interstate transportation of stolen goods, and tax evasion, according to the DOJ. The 36-year-old Colorado resident pleaded guilty to collaborating with several individuals across the United States to acquire and sell stolen products online. These collaborations included working with FedEx senior manager Joseph Kukta to steal FedEx products before their delivery and sell them at a profit, officials said.

“Saurabh Chawla coordinated a $3.5 million scheme — purchasing items from co-conspirators that he knew been stolen, including electronics that were intended to help underprivileged New Mexico school children, and selling them for his personal gain,” said acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan Lenzner in a statement.

Chawla was sentenced to 66 months in federal prison on Sept. 10, 2021, after pleading guilty to conspiracy, interstate transportation of stolen goods, and tax evasion. His partner, Bender, was sentenced to one year and a day on charges of federal conspiracy and tax fraud.

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Stock, who worked for the New Mexico school district from 2010 to 2019, was convicted on federal charges of interstate transportation of stolen goods and tax fraud and will have three years of supervised release following her 18-month prison sentence.

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Originally appeared at Washington Examiner

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