Education

Former Stanford Employee Sentenced for Computer Theft

A former Stanford employee and her brother were sentenced to federal prison this week and ordered to pay restitution for buying hundreds of laptops allegedly for the university and then selling them for personal gain, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.

As part of her job at Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences, Patricia Castaneda ordered Apple MacBook laptops for faculty and staff, the statement said. In 2009 or 2010, she began stealing the computers she ordered and selling them for cash to someone she met on Craigslist.

Then in 2016, she began giving them to her brother Eric Castaneda. He sold approximately 800 computers to an individual who turned around and sold them to buyers out of state.

The stolen computers cost Stanford more than $4 million in total, the statement said.

A U.S. district judge sentenced Patricia Castaneda to 33 months in prison and ordered her to pay $4 million in restitution. Eric Castaneda was sentenced to 18 months in prison and required to pay $2.3 million in restitution.

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