Woman locked up for stealing 3,000 iPods over 5 years & fiddling her taxes

iPod touch
iPod touch (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Three people have been locked up over a scheme that saw 3,000 iPods stolen and sold on eBay.
  • iPods were supposed to be given to students.
  • One person stole the iPods and two more sold them on eBay.

A New Mexico woman has been locked up after stealing 3,000 iPods that were supposed to be given to Native American students. To make matters worse she then fiddled her taxes on the income she made from selling the swag.

According to attorney's office documentation reported by Engadget, Kristy Stock was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after being found out.

A release issued by the Department of Justice details the charges against Stock of tax fraud and transportation of stolen goods. According to her plea agreement and court documents, the scheme began back in 2013 when she was in charge of a program for the Central Consolidated School District of New Mexico designed to provide devices to Native American students living on tribal reservations.

Stock was supposed to use federal money to buy iPods that would then be given to students but she had other ideas. With the help of friends James Bender and Saurabh Chawla, Stock shipped the iPods to an address in Maryland where they were sold on eBay.

The 3,000 iPods reportedly brought in more than $800,000 between 2013 and 2018 but the story doesn't stop there. Stock then filed false tax returns on the income with a tax loss of around $270,000.

Interestingly, the 18 months that Stock will spend inside isn't the most. Chawla will have to do 66 months because they failed to pay more than $700,000 in taxes. Bender will spend a little more than a year in prison for playing their part — both Bender and Chawla were the ones tasked with handling eBay affairs during the scheme.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.