ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York state employee and three co-defendants were accused this week of stealing brand new laptop computers worth $30,000 from state agencies and re-selling them through Facebook ads and a storefront owned by one of the defendants.
Brian Baker, a worker in the state Office of Information Technology Services, was charged Monday with a felony grand larceny and with official misconduct, a misdemeanor, according to the state Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott. Baker was accused of stealing 51 laptops from state storage facilities in Albany. The laptops were new and still in their boxes.
“For the better part of a year this criminal ring used a state employee’s position and access to systemically steal valuable laptop computers from taxpayers and brazenly advertise them on Facebook for sale at a Warren County computer store,” said Leahy Scott.
Charged with a felony count of criminal possession of stolen property were William Shouse, 47, Larry Bishop, 39, and Terra Wedman, 36, all of Queensbury, authorities said.
Shouse was accused of buying the stolen laptops from Baker and selling them to Bishop, owner of LGB Computers store in Queensbury, who then sold them at retail with Wedman, who also operated the store.
The computers were advertised for sale at LGB for $399 to $479 each, according to the inspector general. Authorities found several laptops for sale at the LGB Computers store with the same serial numbers of those stolen from the state.
Baker, 46, of Schuylerville, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Albany City Court and was released under the supervision of probation officials.