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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Monday, January 12, 2015

Insider iPad Thief Charged

BOSTON – The Director of Technical and Development Operations at a South Boston-based media technology company was charged today in connection with his alleged theft of nearly one million dollars’ worth of iPads and other Apple products from his employer.

Michael S. Denning, 33, of Peabody, was charged in an Information with mail fraud and filing false tax returns.

The Information alleges that in late 2010, Denning began working at a South Boston-based media technology company where his job responsibilities included purchasing computer equipment, software, and other technology-based products for use by employees.  Shortly after he was hired, Denning began ordering extra Apple computer equipment, primarily iPads, from a wholesale computer vendor.  Denning then intercepted these packages and sold them for cash, initially on eBay and Craigslist, and later to eBay resellers.  Denning generated and submitted fraudulent invoices so that his company would pay the wholesale vendor.  In doing so, Denning changed the description on the invoices so that they appeared to be for other items that he had legitimately purchased, such as software licenses, toner cartridges, computer monitors and other items.  He also took measures to conceal the theft with the wholesale vendor, for instance by falsely noting that the iPads ordered were for “new hires.”  By the end of 2013, Denning, who was promoted to Director of Technical and Development Operations, had ordered almost one million dollars of Apple computer equipment in this manner when only a handful of these products were legitimate purchases.  Denning filed individual income tax returns that falsely listed his salary from as his employer as his only source of income.

The charge of mail fraud provides a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss, whichever is greater.  The charge of filing false tax returns provides a sentence of no greater than three years in prison, one year of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the United States Postal Inspection Service; and William P. Offord, Special Agent In Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Harman Burkart of Ortiz’s Cybercrime Unit.

The details in the Information are allegations.  The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated January 13, 2015