A 30-year-old Salem, N.H., man accused of stealing almost $1 million in computer parts from Hewlett Packard in Andover was using the goods to bankroll lavish cars and trips, local police say.
A five-month investigation by police detectives from Andover together with State Police and Salem, N.H., led to the arrest last week of Richard Gomez, of 32 Millville St., Salem, on charges of larceny over $250, receiving stolen property in excess of $250, false entries or omission in corporate books and money laundering.
Gomez was held on $100,000 bail following his arraignment in Lawrence District Court. A probable cause hearing is set for Aug. 26.
According to Police Commander Charles Heseltine, Gomez told police after his July 30 arrest that he was making several hundred thousand dollars from the sale of the computer parts and spending the money lavishly on such things as cars and trips for his family and himself.
Gomez, a 10-year-employee of Hewlett Packard, worked as a second-shift warehouse manager, where he was in charge of handling various computer parts and disassembling them.
Assistant District Attorney Philip Mallard said Gomez and two other Hewlett Packard employees allegedly stole computer hardware components and sold them on eBay and then falsified company records to cover their tracks.
“This is a highly elaborate scheme that has been going on for years,” Mallard said.
“The scope of this investigation is large, and implicates hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in components believe to have been stolen,” the statement of probable cause stated.
The probe into the high-stakes thefts, led locally by Andover detectives Kevin Aufiero and Peter Reming, began in February when police were called to Hewlett Packard to take a report of a crime.
The head of security had received an anonymous email saying that three employees had stolen central processing units last year and sold them on eBay. The email identified Gomez, Jose Padilla and another suspect known to police, but whose identity is being withheld.