Arrest Made in $1M Hewlett Packard Theft Case

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Arrest Made in $1M Hewlett Packard Theft Case

 user admin 2014-08-12 at 11:05:40 am Views: 373
  • #40254

    Arrest Made in $1M Hewlett Packard Theft Case
    NH man accused of stealing parts from Andover warehouse

    By Sara Brown and Tim Lima Staff Writers

    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.
    PAUL BILODEAU/Staff photo Richard Gomez of Salem, N.H., is accused of stealing almost $1 million worth of computer goods from Hewlett Packard in Andover. He was arraigned in Lawrence District Court last week -

    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.

    Police are currently on the lookout for Padilla and the unnamed suspect.

    Upon further investigation, police discovered Gomez’s email account was linked to an eBay account selling computer parts that were missing from the warehouse.

    His eBay account was then linked to a PayPal account, which would receive the money for parts he sold. He would then transfer that money to his bank account, withdrawing some to give to Padilla, authorities say.

    “His bank account records show numerous transactions where he took out $6,000 or $7,000 at a time,” Mallard said.

    It turns out it was an ex-girlfriend of the unnamed suspect that emailed Hewlett Packard about the scheme. She said she saw photos of the items they were selling with the Hewlett Packard label on them.

    “You should put some cameras up and you will catch him,” the email said, according to a police report. She also said Gomez was “the biggest thief.”

    It is believed that Padilla would disassemble parts sent to the warehouse and steal them, but prior to logging or entering them into the database, which is why Hewlett Packard didn’t suspect the theft, according to police.

    “There is probable cause to believe that Gomez and other co-conspirators are specifically omitting entries in the HP databases to conceal their theft of components,” a police report said.

    Authorities believe Padilla would then give the items to Gomez to sell on eBay, with all the earnings going to Gomez’s PayPal account.

    Mallard asked that bail for Gomez be set at $250,000 because he was a flight risk.

    “He has ties to the Dominican Republic and recently visited the country,” Mallard said.

    However, Judge Lynn Rooney reduced it to $100,000.

    “If you somehow can make bail, you must hand over your passport to police,” she told Gomez.