The Internet makes an array of connections and opportunities available to members of the general public. Aside from offering a platform where people can communicate easily and reliably, the Internet and World Wide Web also offer additional business opportunities. Since the relatively early days of the web, people have sold goods and services online. In fact, most Internet users are at least familiar with eBay if they haven’t already used the service to buy or sell goods. 

However, the pseudo anonymous nature of the Internet coupled with the ability to expand one’s market beyond the local area can lead some individuals to take risks regarding the sale of stolen property or gray-market property. People may convince themselves that their site user handle will protect their actually identity. Others may reason that selling property to a national or international market significantly reduces the likelihood that the property will be identified as lost or stolen. Of course, the nature of eBay and selling goods to a broad market also means that mistakes and errors that result in a mistaken arrest can also occur.

Man Charged with Selling Computer Parts Stolen from Employer Pleads Guilty to the Charges

John Large, 49, was an electrical technician for his employer – a Piscataway-based data security company. Large was from Hazlet in Monmouth County. He admitted to taking electronic equipment from the data center without permission. Items that he admitted to taking from the data center included hard drives and data transceivers. Large would then sell these stolen items online on web sites and auction services like eBay.

bigstock Technician Repair soldering I 110997497 - Man Who Sold More than $600,000 in Stolen Computer Equipment on eBay to Face Prison

Large was identified as the likely source of the thefts in May 2014. Weeks prior, Large’s scheme began to unravel after a banking client for the data security company reported that some of its equipment had gone missing from the storage area at the company’s facility. Investigators for the company eventually forwarded information about the crime to New Jersey State Police Cyber Crimes Unit.

What Charges Did the Man Face for Selling Stolen Property Online?

Mr. Large pleaded guilty to a count of second-degree theft by unlawful taking. Theft by unlawful taking or disposition is codified in NJSA 2C:20-3. Under the statute, any individual who “unlawfully takes, or exercises unlawful control over, movable property of another with purpose to deprive him thereof” is guilty of theft. Likewise, a person who “unlawfully transfers any interest in immovable property of another with purpose to benefit [him or herself] or another not entitled thereto.” Thus, unlawful taking can be charged for both the type of property that can be carried away and for property that would be considered stationary or immovable.

Generally, the theft of property by taking requires an individual to “unlawfully” take control of property. The fact that the taking of control is “unlawful” means that the individual knows or should know that he or she is not authorized or entitled to take control of the property. Furthermore, note that the individual only need to “exercise unlawful control” over property. While actually physically taking the property away can occur as part of the crime, the individual technically only needs to exercise control over the property.

What Are the Penalties for Theft by Unlawful Taking?

In this case, the accused who pleaded guilty was charged with a second-degree unlawful taking. The degree of the crime charged is controlled by the value of the property allegedly stolen. Fourth degree theft by unlawful taking charges are appropriate when the value of the property stolen is between $200 to $500. Third degree theft by unlawful taking charges can be advanced when the value of the stolen property is between $500 and $75,000. Finally, second degree theft by unlawful taking charges are appropriate when the value of the property involved is greater than $75,000.

Burglar Alarm - Man Who Sold More than $600,000 in Stolen Computer Equipment on eBay to Face Prison

Here, the value of the stolen property was more than $600,000. This means that the crime was apparently properly charged as a 2nd degree indictable offense. As a second degree crime, a prison sentence of up to ten years was authorized along with a significant monetary fine. As part of his guilty plea, Mr. Large agreed to serve a five year state prison sentence. Furthermore, the plea deal requires him to repay $628,491 in restitution.

Contact an Experienced Atlantic City Criminal Lawyer if You’re Facing Criminal Charges in South Jersey

If you or a loved one are facing serious criminal charges in New Jersey, the potential for a lengthy prison sentence and other penalties exists. Working with an experienced and strategic criminal defense attorney can help protect your right and freedoms. Atlantic City criminal defense attorney John J. Zarych of the law Offices of John Zarych has more than three decades of experience fighting for the rights of individuals accused of committing crimes. To schedule a free and confidential consultation call (609) 616-4956 today or online.