Stealing from children is pretty bad. That’s precisely what one New Mexico school district employee did. Kristy Stock was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for her part in a scheme to steal and resell over 3,000 iPods intended for Native American students.
The Department of Justice details the charges against Stock which include tax fraud and transportation of stolen goods. Apparently, it began back in 2013 when she was in charge of a program for the Central Consolidated School District of New Mexico designed to provide devices to Native American students living on reservations.
Stock was supposed to use federal grant money to buy iPods for students. But, thanks to help from other conspirators including her friend James Bender and Saurabh Chawla, the group ended up shipping the stolen iPods to Maryland where they were sold on eBay at a large markup.
Since his own account had previously been suspended, Chawla used Bender’s eBay account to list the stolen devices for auction, with Bender serving as an intermediary. Then between 2015 and 2018, Stock communicated directly with Chawla, providing info on the details of devices before agreeing on a price and putting them up for auction.
Stock admitted that she made over $800,000 from selling these iPods between 2013 and 2018. Stock also filed fraudulent tax returns on the income, resulting in a tax loss of around $270,000. Stock faces an 18-month prison sentence, while co-conspirator Chawla was sentenced to 66 months after failing to pay more than $700,000 in taxes. Bender was sentenced to just 366 days in prison.
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