Government Contractor Sold More Than $55K of Stolen Laptops on eBay
The U.S. Justice Department announced this week that former government contractor Dennis Gamarra, 53, of Woodbridge, VA, was sentenced to one year of probation, including six months of home confinement, for stealing government property from the Department of Commerce and the Library of Congress, selling in on eBay.
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Gamarra had pleaded guilty on September 26, 2022, in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, to one count of theft of government property.
In addition to the term of probation and home confinement, U.S. District Court Judge Jia Cobb ordered $56,960 in restitution to the affected agencies and a forfeiture order for the same amount.
Gamarra was an IT contractor for a private company assigned to support the Department of Commerce and Library of Congress.
The first theft started at the Department of Commerce, where Gamarra stole a Microsoft Surface Tablet, worth $1,370, and when he moved to the Library of Congress, he escalated the scheme by stealing at least 29 Dell laptops worth $55,590.
All of these stolen items were sold through his eBay account. But it was also an eBay buyer who unknowingly unraveled Garmarra’s scheme when he contacted the company that provided the laptops to the Library of Congress and asked them to transfer the warranty to him.
An investigation followed that later linked sales of the laptops to Gamarra’s eBay account. He later told federal agents that he stole the laptops because he was having financial difficulties.
eBay Stolen Property Policy
While not much of a deterrent by itself, eBay has a Stolen Property Policy that prohibits the sale of stolen goods on its marketplace. The company’s policy states they “will work with law enforcement in any attempts to sell stolen property on eBay.”
Often, tech items from large organizations have inventory markings that indicate ownership. And while sometimes such products may have been disposed of properly for resale, they can also be stolen.
If buyers receive such a product, they should contact the organization to verify the item’s ownership.
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Richard is co-founder of eSeller365. He has over 17 years of experience on eBay which includes tens of thousands of sales to buyers in over 100 countries and even has experience with eBay’s VeRO program enforcing intellectual property rights for a former employer. And for about two years Richard sold products on Amazon using Amazon FBA in the US.
To “relax” from the daily business grind, for a few weekends a year, he also works for IMSA as a professional race official.