Man charged with stealing $1.7M in computer parts from Hewlett-Packard
A Northwest Side man is accused of stealing $1.7 million in "high end" computer parts from Hewlett-Packard and selling them on the Internet, police said.
Alexis Ortega, 31, was arrested Monday at his home in the 4900 block of North Spaulding Avenue in the Albany Park neighborhood. He was charged with theft of more than a million dollars and money laundering, and is expected to appear in court today, police said. Ortega was ordered held in lieu of $50,000 bail in a hearing before Cook County Criminal Court Judge Laura Sullivan today, said Lisa Gordon, a spokeswoman for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
The theft was discovered after an internal investigation by Hewlett-Packard, which then went to the Illinois State Police in March.
The company filed a criminal complaint accusing Ortega of using internal HP accounts to send computer components valued at $2,000 to $6,000 each to his home, police said. He then would sell them on the Internet through eBay and private buyers, causing the company to lose about $1.7 million, police said.
After being paid through a PayPal account, Ortega would launder the money through his own Bank of America accounts, police said.
It’s unclear how long Ortega had allegedly been doing this.
During interviews with HP authorities on Feb. 28, Ortega offered to pay $124,000 back to HP but did not admit guilt, police said. A few days later, some parts Ortega still had in his possession — and worth about $200,000 — were returned to the company, police said.There was no immediate comment from Hewlett-Packard this morning.