Two siblings in Redwood City, California have recently been sentenced for the theft and interstate sale of MacBooks. Patricia Castaneda, 38, received a sentence of 33 months in prison. Her brother, Eric, 37, was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Furthermore, both faced sentencing by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller.
Additionally, Judge Mueller ordered Patricia Castaneda to pay $4,077,832 in restitution. Eric Castaneda will pay $2,283,155 in restitution as well.
Recent court documents show that Patricia Castaneda was an employee of the School of Humanities and Sciences at a private university in Stanford, California. While serving in this position, Patricia Castaneda’s duties included ordering MacBooks for university faculty and staff. Sometime in 2009 or 2010, Patricia Castaneda began stealing MacBooks she ordered and sold them for cash. From the start, Patricia Castaneda sold the stolen MacBooks to a man she met on Craigslist.
Beginning around February of 2016, Patricia Castaneda started giving the stolen property to Eric Castaneda to sell. In turn, Eric Castaneda began selling the devices to an individual named Philip James, who resold and shipped the MacBooks from Folsom to buyers outside of California.
The total cost to the university for MacBooks stolen by Patricia Castaneda was in excess of $4 million. This incudes the cost to the university of approximately 800 stolen MacBooks. This includes the devices Eric Castaneda sold to James, which was close to $2.3 million.
Open for Investigation
The case was open to investigation by the IRS-Criminal Investigation, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. U.S. Attorney Matthew Theusen prosecuted the case.
On April 11, 2022, James placed guilty for his role in the scheme. James will face sentencing on July 25, 2022. Also, he agreed to pay restitutions for his role in the scheme, totally in excess of $2.7 million.
Furthermore, James was purchasing stolen MacBooks from other suppliers. One individual, Jonas Jarut, is facing up to ten years in prison for their involvement in the scheme.