Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Data Storage The Courts Hardware

EMC Engineer Steals Almost $1 Million of Kit One Piece at a Time 235

aesoteric writes "An EMC test engineer has pleaded guilty to stealing almost $1 million worth of kit from his employer. He reportedly stole the unspecified goods from the storage giant's North Carolina factory using 'a small bag' to smuggle the kit out before selling it on the internet under a pseudonym."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

EMC Engineer Steals Almost $1 Million of Kit One Piece at a Time

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Im sorry - define Kit? thanks

  • by EXMSFT ( 935404 ) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @06:34PM (#34817804)
    for copyright infringement.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    BL Trading is also being charged with sale and receipt of stolen property, wire fraud and the installing and selling on of products with EMC firmware that didn’t have support contracts to take care of them.


    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, 2011 @06:44PM (#34817896)

      EMC firmware license requires a support contract to be valid. Yes, it is illegal to use the hardware you purchase from them, if you don't keep paying them for support.

      Considering how much they mark up hardware as well, there's no way he actually had more than $50k of gear.

      • by Cylix ( 55374 ) *

        You mean contractual violation which is a civil suite and not a violation of the law. This would be the dictated by the terms agreed to when the equipment was purchased. However, I have known several organizations that had their old EMC equipment limping about. While unsupported and essentially useless for it's role they can often be relegated to test or dev environments where stability and uptime isn't paramount. In fact, I've known production environments that were still running out of warranty EMC equipm

        • by EdIII ( 1114411 )

          It's also worth noting that you can't just put anything in a contract and have it enforceable in a civil court. While the DMCA has been used to butt rape consumers at a small level (Sony trying to protect their PSP and PS3 and deny full and rightful ownership of the hardware) this does not typically fly with businesses that have the resources and wherewithal to fight back.

          This is precisely why there is some equipment that is leased and not sold. It's the only legitimate and legally defensible way to enfor

  • by Announcer ( 816755 ) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @06:36PM (#34817822) Homepage

    What is "kit" in this instance?

    "Kit and kit! What is kit?!" - Spock's Brain

    • Gear.

    • by fotbr ( 855184 ) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @06:39PM (#34817844) Journal


      And because slashdot requires me to wait a certain amount of time before replying with what should be a one word answer, and because one word isn't a good enough answer, you get this annoying run on sentence of complete crap before I can post so I'll just keep typing random stuff to kill some time.

      • The key to what "kit" obviously is what EMC does. EMC is world-wide and into lots of stuff but specializes in data storage, recovery, and asset management solutions. I'm guessing like SAP but with specialize hardware to go with it.
    • by migla ( 1099771 ) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @06:53PM (#34817946)

      What is "kit" in this instance?

      Could be any number of things, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kit [wikipedia.org]

      In this instance, I think it's most likely referring to baby ferrets.

    • I think they meant K.I.T.T. [wikipedia.org] which might explain why it was worth do much.
    • by pongo000 ( 97357 )

      According to a friend down under, "kit" is Auzzie slang for "computer equipment."

    • 'Kit' is a casual term for 'gear', 'equipment', 'stuff' etc. Contrary to what others have said, it is not 'a Britishism'. It is a term used basically everywhere that speaks standard/Commonwealth English (as opposed to American English).

      But even if you didn't know what it meant, isn't it obvious from context?

      I see a lot of that on this site actually (presumably mostly from North Americans): the inability to figure out the likely meaning of a word from context. They all seem to take everything so ... literall

  • wire fraud (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Iamthecheese ( 1264298 ) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @06:38PM (#34817838)
    wire fraud? seriously? These tack-on charges make a mockery of the law.
    • Not necessarily. If you run a red light to hit and kill someone with a car, you're going to have multiple charges as well.

      He received a wire transfer of money under a fake name. Doesn't that count?

      • by vux984 ( 928602 )

        He received a wire transfer of money under a fake name. Doesn't that count?

        So if you win an ebay auction from 'legoseller331' and then paypal your payment to 'legoseller331@gmail.com'... and then legoseller331 sends you the lego set described in the auction... criminal wire fraud has taken place? Really?

        • He received a wire transfer of money under a fake name. Doesn't that count?

          So if you win an ebay auction from 'legoseller331' and then paypal your payment to 'legoseller331@gmail.com'... and then legoseller331 sends you the lego set described in the auction... criminal wire fraud has taken place? Really?

          Firstly, wire transfer != paypal... Wire transfer systems take identities very seriously.

          Secondly, it's a bad metaphor. The lego set in the EMC scenario was stolen and fenced under a fake name (to avoid getting caught). The fake name part (as part of the wire transfer) is a whole separate crime. IANAL, though, so this is only my understanding of the situation.

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        Only if the person who wired you the money was ripped off in the process. Otherwise it's just charge inflation.

        I'm just waiting for someone to be convicted of aggravated littering because they didn't neatly dispose of the victim after killing him. Naturally that will be followed by considerable EPA fines because of the lead they disposed of improperly. Then there's the noise ordinance they violated. Oh, and murder while we're at it.

    • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

      Wire fraud is the de-facto "internet ecommerce" law since around 1980. If it involves craigslist, ebay or amazon.com it's probably got a wire fraud charge tacked on.

      • More practically : if the FBI prosecutes you, you get charged with wire fraud. It basically doesn't matter what the crime was, the statute is so broad it can apply to nearly anything. Also, the FBI wins trials over 90% of the time...doesn't matter if you are innocent or not...if the FBI comes for you you are going to the Gulag.

    • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @07:40PM (#34818266)

      Wire fraud, in the United States Code, is any criminally fraudulent activity that has been determined to have involved electronic communications of any kind, at any phase of the event. The involvement of electronic communications adds to the severity of the penalty, so that it is greater than the penalty for fraud that is otherwise identical except for the non-involvement of electronic communications. As in the case of mail fraud, the federal statute is often used as a basis for a separate, federal prosecution of what would otherwise have been a violation only of a state law.

      The crime of wire fraud is codified at 18 U.S.C. 1343, and reads as follows:

        Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. If the violation affects a financial institution, such person shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.

      In the case of United States v. LaMacchia, a student of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was charged with wire fraud when, because he had not profitted personally from online distribution of millions of dollars' worth of illegally copied software, he could not be charged with criminal copyright infringement. The United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, dismissed the charges, noting they were an attempt to find a broad federal crime where the more narrowly defined one had not occurred. Congress then amended the copyright law to limit further use of this loophole. Wire fraud [wikipedia.org]

      The reference is to the NET Act of 1997. "No Electronic Theft."

  • by neokushan ( 932374 ) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @06:42PM (#34817878)

    ...of a tale my dad used to tell me when I was young.

    I don't know the full details, so it could be made up, the details could be wrong or it might have actually been like a TV show or something, but anyhoo.

    A guy who worked in a factory would leave every day with a wheelbarrow full of rubbish. One of his bosses was sure he was stealing something, so every now and then he'd search the wheelbarrow and come up dry - rubbish, rubbish and more rubbish. The manager got so frustrated, he started searching every single day and still found nothing.
    Eventually, the guy figured out what he was stealing - wheelbarrows.

  • Small thefts add up (Score:4, Interesting)

    by The_mad_linguist ( 1019680 ) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @06:56PM (#34817966)

    It's amazing how much you can get if you steal constantly.

    For example, Salim Kara made several million dollars stealing coins from light rail boxes

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/thief+stole+nearly+million+coin+time/4028648/story.html [edmontonjournal.com]

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Related story, at my telecom company an installation kit used to include gold plated screws. An installer knew this and when they weren't used/needed instead of scrapping them (throwing them in the trash) he put them in the box. When he retired he reported the box and supposedly it had many thousands of dollars worth of gold in it. Course we also have stories of savvy installers trying to sell surplus equipment on the open market.

    • I particularly like the section about the employee who KNEW he was stealing...

      One co-worker who recorded Kara on a video camera reaching into a fare box in an incriminating fashion a year before his arrest later said he erased the video because he didn't want to get involved.

      "I did not want to be the one responsible for pointing out to superiors or anything that there was anything wrong going on," he testified. "The thing was I didn't want to be involved in it." He was later fired.

      Emphasis mine. Guess it d

      • "I did not want to be the one responsible for pointing out to superiors or anything that there was anything wrong going on," he testified. "The thing was I didn't want to be involved in it." He was later fired.

        Sounds like there's a lot more to that story. Why would he be afraid of reporting it?

    • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

      $1 million in EMC gear probably translates to only about $50,000 worth of real-world computer equipment at market prices. They're pretty notorious for charging ridiculous amounts more than NetApp et. al. for their junk.

      Heh, the customers probably thought of him as Robin Hood.

  • this EMC Celerra NS model 120-121-122-123-124-125-126-127-128-129-130 NAS I just bought off craigslist.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @07:12PM (#34818060) Journal
    What kind of market is there for dodgy EMC gear? I always got the impression that EMC were the chaps you talked to if you didn't mind paying too much; but really wanted to have the vendor breathing down your neck for the duration of the (expensive) support agreement. Are there companies that shell out for that, and then start buying replacement parts on Ebay? Or, like Cisco, is there an active market of people trying to put together certification study kits on the relative cheap?
    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      I company I used to work for was operated by someone too naive to understand it was the support and not the intrinsic equipment that mattered. I came in and they were using some Cheapo NAS box that used 4 drives on two IDE channels as the storage in RAID5. Of course one drive failed and took out a channel, so after I recovered the data (it was backed up, but I recovered data off the three working drives), it was time to look for a replacement. I was told a very very very puny budget, so I priced out basi

      • Re:Yes... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:59AM (#34822054)
        You get enough gear and you don't need much support. For example once the yearly support costs for IBM3590 tape drives hit more than the cost of a reconditioned one it was just well past time to buy spares and show people how to switch them over. There are plenty of third party repairers for a lot of gear so long as you have plenty of time to get things fixed. Support is rarely as good as advertised so it's best to avoid every needing it at all is possible. Where I am none of the vendors even bother to have local support staff so not even the simplest thing is going to get fixed within a day by a vendor anyway. In the past one support call involved two days of attempting to convince the vendor that our one and only computer of the type they dealt with was actually covered by quite an expensive contract. It's a pain trying to deal with a vendors failure of their internal records system fractured by a takeover as well as fixing your own gear - after two days and several dozen calls I told them to leave me alone and refund the remainder of the contract.
    • There aren't/ weren't that manny fibre channel vendors out there, back in the day. FC was an interesting solution to storage pools and what not, and seemed like a good idea at the time. Hitachi was a lot cheaper than EMC though, but the support was still crazy expensive, although an order of magnitude cheaper than EMC. ISCSI has a pretty high cost as well for bootable HBA's and doesn't really run at wire speed. We're currently trying out AoE as a FC replacement. I've watched the prices go from 100K to 5K in

      • They suck at software. Every EMC-provided piece of software I've had the misfortune to look at has been a profound disaster. Their Linux drivers generate kernel oops as a matter of routine -- and it's even documented -- if you don't deactivate things in the right order.

  • I'm confused (Score:5, Informative)

    by TimHunter ( 174406 ) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @07:19PM (#34818116)
    This is a story about an crime committed in Apex, North Carolina by a man from Sanford, NC and tried in a Boston, Massachusetts court. Why does the summary link to a story in an Australian web site? Why not, say, to this: http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/crime_files/crime_watch/nc-man-pleads-guilty-to-stealing-from-emc-corp-25-apx-20110107 [myfoxboston.com] or this: http://www.abc6.com/Global/story.asp?S=13800798 [abc6.com]?
    • Thank you. My guess is that the story was submitted by more than one source, and someone picked the Aussie version for inclusion on the main page of Slashdot. In any case, it's an article that's very light on details... but the US versions you posted make a lot more sense... to US. ;)

  • Considering how EMC's crap is overpriced, it doesn't take much to make $1 million.

    There's one thing that's more astonishing than how expensive their crap is: how crappy their software is. It looks like it's written by deranged apes. Not just because of the million bugs, the offensively useless help files or the fact that their appliances are running on Windows 3.11 (true fact!). No, there's something to it that's simply _wrong_.

  • 9 years is a long time to do something like that. How did they catch him?

    Was it on the factory/warehouse end? One gets the impression that they weren't really missing anything, at least for a long time.

    Somehow it wouldn't surprise me if EMC actually bought their own parts off the second-hand market. Both for "intelligence" (ie, where are these parts originating) and to keep the used market supply of key parts constrained so that "official" new parts sell better.

  • 2 Mill (Score:4, Funny)

    by dark grep ( 766587 ) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @09:32PM (#34818982)
    $2M of EMC equipment - wow, that's like five hard drives!
  • So kit = stuff = gear. So what? Why do they not specify what this stuff is? I've unfortunately had my home robbed and neither the police report or insurance report said "They stole stuff".
  • i knew it -- he got his plan from johnny cash --:-D

    One Piece at at Time

    Well, I left Kentucky back in '49
    An' went to Detroit workin' on a 'sembly line
    The first year they had me puttin' wheels on cadillacs

    Every day I'd watch them beauties roll by
    And sometimes I'd hang my head and cry
    'Cause I always wanted me one that was long and black.

    One day I devised myself a plan
    That should be the envy of most any man
    I'd sneak it out of there in a lunchbox in my hand
    Now gettin' caught meant gettin' fired
    But I figured I'd

  • Back at Motorola (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pablo_max ( 626328 ) on Monday January 10, 2011 @04:29AM (#34820834)

    I remember years ago when I was working at Motorola, we had a guy who was stealing loads of pagers. He would take smoking breaks several times a day. Every time he would take his smokes and coffee. Even in those days the guards would check out your bag, but he would not check in your coffee cup. That sucker took 2 pagers several times a day, 5 days a week for a long time.
    He would then have his buddy who owned a pager store sell them. Made tons of cash.

    Another guy was diverting whole tractor trailer trucks to his address! He stole millions! He was only caught because one time a truck returned because of a bad address. That was so awesome. Big scandal. Soon after we got metal detectors at all the doors. Lame.

I've got a bad feeling about this.