It is one thing to steal from the government, but stealing from children is much worse. Sadly, that is precisely what a New Mexico school district employee did. Kristy Stock was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for her role in a scheme to steal and resell more than 3,000 iPods intended for Native American students.
TO details the charges against Stock for tax fraud and transportation of stolen goods. According to his plea agreement and court documents, the scheme began in 2013 when he was in charge of a program for the New Mexico Central Consolidated School District designed to provide devices to Native American students living on tribal reservations.
While overseeing the program, Stock was supposed to use federal grant money to purchase iPods and distribute them to students. However, with the help of other conspirators, including their friend James Bender and Saurabh Chawla, the group ended up shipping the stolen iPods to Maryland, where they were listed on eBay before selling them at a “substantial” profit margin.
Because his own account had previously been suspended due to security concerns, Chawla was forced to use Bender’s eBay account to list the stolen devices for auction, with Bender serving as an intermediary. Later, between 2015 and 2018, Stock contacted Chawla directly, providing information on the make, model, color and number of devices before agreeing on a price and putting them up for auction.
In all, Stock admitted that he made more than $ 800,000 from the sale of stolen iPods between 2013 and 2018. To make matters worse, Stock also filed fraudulent income tax returns, resulting in a tax loss of about $ 270,000. That said, although Stock faces an 18-month prison sentence, he actually came out lighter than his co-conspirator Chawla, who was sentenced to 66 months after failing to pay more than $ 700,000 in taxes. Meanwhile, Bender was sentenced to just 366 days in prison.
So while Stock and his team were eventually caught, the real lesson here is that crime doesn’t pay, especially if you’re stealing from children and then lying on your ill-gotten income taxes.
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