Kristy Stock was the director of a program that utilized iPods to teach reading and arithmetic to Native American schoolchildren living on tribal grounds. Kristy Stock, 46, of New Mexico, has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for stealing 3,000 of them and reselling them for a profit of over $800,000 between 2013 and 2018. Stock isn't the first person to be sentenced as part of this scheme, according to the US Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland (via Engadget).
It all seems to revolve around 36-year-old Colorado resident Saurabh Chawla, who bought stolen electronics and other goods and resold them on eBay and Amazon. According to an earlier press release, he was raided by law enforcement in 2019, and he also purchased stolen iPads from another New Mexico school district. Perhaps more importantly, according to court filings, Chawla collaborated with a FedEx distribution center manager from Delaware called Joseph Kukta to steal goods before they reached clients like Walmart, for which Chawla paid him $1.5 million.
Shipments of Nike footwear, as well as electronics from Apple, Epson, Kenwood, and Magellan, were among the items stolen. It's unclear if Stock, the school system staffer, stole iPods from Native American students who needed them or those that were just sitting around. According to one court filing, the iPods were acquired in bulk using federal grant money, and the school system kept the ones that were not utilized. Stock allegedly promised Chawla in November 2018 that she would check "the school's iPod inventory and let you know what I can get heading your way" for "Black Friday," but was only able to take 30 that time, claiming that she needed to "keep some on hand for the students through year end." I assume that's thoughtful of her.
Chawla was sentenced to 66 months in jail, Kukta to 42 months, and James Bender of Maryland was sentenced to a year and a day for allowing Chawla to use his eBay and PayPal accounts to sell stolen items. Chawla also consented to give up at least $3.5 million in assets, with the court taking seven bank accounts, a 2013 Tesla Model S, and compelling him to sell a two-story, five-bedroom home in Aurora, Colorado, that he bought with fraudulent funds.