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For Stealing 3,000 iPods Destined for Students, a Woman was sentenced to Prison

To make matters worse, the Employee Attempted to conceal her Ill-Gotten Profits by Filing False Tax Returns.

Occasionally, we see School Systems distribute Free Laptops and other Equipment to children in order to aid their education or to assist pupils who are otherwise disadvantaged. However, Kristy Stock, a school system employee, decided to take the gadgets and resell them.

It’s one thing to take from the government; it’s quite another to steal from children. Unfortunately, one New Mexico school system employee did exactly that. Kristy Stock received an 18-month term for her role in a plot to steal and resell over 3,000 iPods meant for Native American schoolchildren.

The Department of Justice has charged Stock with tax fraud and transportation of stolen items, according to a press release. According to her court document and court records, the scheme began in 2013, when she was in charge of a program for the Central Consolidated School District of New Mexico that offered gadgets to Native American children living on tribal reservations.

Stock was intended to utilize federal grant money to buy iPods for students while managing the program. However, with the assistance of other conspirators such as her friend James Bender and Saurabh Chawla, the group was able to transfer the stolen iPods to Maryland, where they were placed on eBay and sold for a “significant” profit.

Chawla was compelled to use Bender’s eBay account to offer the stolen devices for auction because his own account had been suspended due to security concerns. Bender acted as an intermediary. Stock later interacted directly with Chawla between 2015 and 2018, providing information on the make, model, color, and amount of gadgets before settling on a price and putting them up for auction.

Between 2013 and 2018, Stock acknowledged to making more than $800,000 through the sale of stolen iPods. Stock added insult to injury by filing false tax forms on the income, resulting in a $270,000 tax loss. Stock, however, will serve 18 months in prison, which is less time than her co-conspirator Chawla, who was sentenced to 66 months in prison for failing to pay more than $700,000 in taxes. Bender, on the other hand, was only sentenced to 366 days in prison.

While Stock and her gang were finally apprehended, the real lesson here is that crime does not pay–especially when it involves stealing from children and then lying about it on your taxes.

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