Toner scheme busted by sharp eyed Xerox employees

A former Xerox customer service agent on Tuesday pleaded guilty to mail fraud for stealing and selling cartridges stolen from his former employer online.

A former Xerox customer service agent on Tuesday pleaded guilty to mail fraud for stealing and selling cartridges stolen from his former employer online.

Asdrubal Sampayo faces up to 20 years in prison and US$250,000 in fines. Sentencing is scheduled for May 23 in the US District Court in Seattle.

Between June 2005 and October 2005, Sampayo placed orders for 18 shipments of toner cartridges worth $490,000 using bogus names for a Boeing employee requesting the toners, the US Department of Justice said in a statement. Sampayo at the time was servicing copy machines at Boeing's Tukwila, Washington facility, the DOJ said.

Xerox became suspicious about the large orders as the cartridges requested were incompatible with the copiers at the facility. Xerox and Boeing security then observed the shipments of the toners and caught Sampayo, handing him over to federal officers.

Federal officers found eBay and PayPal records indicating that Sampayo had sold 934 cartridges online for more than $135,000.

Sampayo agreed to pay restitution of $392,902 to Xerox as part of the plea agreement.

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