Fairfax School Employee Arrested With Over 1,200 Stolen School Laptops At His Home

3168922_GWell, now I know why my kids have such trouble getting a computer at school in Fairfax. Craig Soderberg, 60, was arrested with more than 1,200 laptop computers at his home. He was charged with embezzlement.

Soderberg of Alexandria is coordinator of warehouse operations for Fairfax County Public Schools and is accused of stealing the laptops, refurbishing them, and then selling them online.

It could be an interesting case if the computers were discarded or old. The defense may look at whether the computers were normally trashed or discarded after a certain number of years.

As noted by the Washington Post, this arrest comes after the earlier arrest of two employees in the county for theft of funds and putting their children on the payroll for work not done.

16 thoughts on “Fairfax School Employee Arrested With Over 1,200 Stolen School Laptops At His Home

  1. “It could be an interesting case if the computers were discarded or old.”

    In an emotional sense, perhaps.

    But even as scrap the computers had some value, probably more if sold as obsolescent but still functional computers.

    And it seems he did convert the computers to his use for his profit.

    This guy ought to have some serious legal problems.

    I am betting, cop a plea, minimal jail time, restitution, loose his position, keep his pension – if there are no other conversions of school property on his watch.

  2. “The defense may look at whether the computers were normally trashed or discarded after a certain number of years.” -Jonathan Turley

    … while another type of person might have pitched a refurbishment proposal.

    ——

    “As noted by the Washington Post, this arrest comes after the earlier arrest of two employees in the county for theft of funds and putting their children on the payroll for work not done.”

    Why am I not the least bit surprised.

  3. There is no one easier to steal or defraud than the government. That’s because they take your money and feel no sense of duty, except to taking it. After that, c’est la vie.

  4. Raff,
    You may have heard this old Soviet era joke:

    Ivan was always the last guy out the gate of the factory at night, and always pushed a wheelbarrow full of straw. The gate guard probed and prodded the straw every night, but never found any contraband. Finally, after many months of fruitless searching, the guard could stand it no longer. He said, “Ivan, I know you are stealing something, but if you will tell me what it is, I will tell no one. I just have to know what you are stealing.”

    Ivan replied, “Wheelbarrows.”

  5. From the Washington Post article:
    “Soderberg, who joined Fairfax County schools in 1998, had worked for the past 13 years as the manager of a warehouse owned by the administration at 6800 Industrial Rd. in Springfield. Obsolete equipment, including older-model computers, furniture and other office items, are stored at the facility, school officials said.”

    *****

    I’d ask why the administration owned a warehouse where it stored such things. Why not sell the stuff, have it recycled, or junk it?

  6. If he was refurbishing them…. It sounds like they were discarded…..until I learn more about it…. Most laptop computers have about a 2 year life expectancy in the hand of a kid ….. Read that some place….

  7. @AY “If he was refurbishing them…. It sounds like they were discarded…..until I learn more about it…. Most laptop computers have about a 2 year life expectancy in the hand of a kid ”

    There are two numbers that are particularly relevant to the consideration of this crime. His gain and the schools systems loss.

    In my area, on Craig’s list, many used laptops go for (talking in big round numbers) $200.

    If he started with computers with sound displays and cases his investment might be $50 for a hard drive – max. On many – not all – lap tops it is possible to replace the HDD with minimal effort.

    1200 laptops clearing on average $175 is nearly a quarter million dollars – easy – except of getting caught, of course.

    This found an easy way to add, maybe, a couple hundred thousand to his retirement account.

    I am pretty sure the school system could have found a company to pay for those lap tops if anyone had taken the time.

    I don’t know the surplus value of the computers. But if we make a WA guess between $10 and $40, selling off 1200 of them might yield $30000 for the school system.

    Even a very inefficient contracting agent ought to be able to clear a few tens of thousands of dollars for the school system off those computers – even taking into consideration pay and benefits for the contracting agent.

  8. What did (and what he will say he did after reading this blog which I am sending to him) is throw the computers in the school dumpster on a daily basis when they were discarded by a teacher. Then after hours he would dumpster dive. It does not take a dumbster on the jury to acquit. Then they have to give the computers back to him because something diven must be returned.

  9. Perhaps Craig Soderberg is a deranged hoarder of laptop computers who can never satisfy his need to accumulate more laptop computers?

Comments are closed.