Naperville Man Admits Stealing U.S. Computer Equipment Worth $332,000 While Working For Defense Contractor In Afghanistan
CHICAGO — A Naperville man who worked for a U.S. military contractor pleaded guilty today to stealing U.S. military computer and communications equipment worth more than $332,000 from a military air base in Afghanistan and later selling and shipping almost half of the high-end equipment to vendors in the United States for re-sale.
TIMOTHY L. MAURER, 51, a former systems administrator for Raytheon Corp., a U.S. Department of Defense contractor, was charged last month with one count of theft of government property. He pleaded guilty today at his arraignment before U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr., in Federal Court in Chicago.
“Stealing from the U.S. government undermines our mission in Afghanistan and anyone seeking to defraud the American taxpayer will be brought to justice,” said John F. Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
The guilty plea was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and Special Inspector General Sopko. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), the Army Criminal Investigative Division/Major Procurement Fraud Unit (CID/MPFU), and SIGAR conducted the investigation.
In pleading guilty, Maurer admitted that between Dec. 23, 2013, and Feb. 2, 2014, he stole more than 150 items of computer and communications equipment, including laptop computers, cellular telephones, computer switches, adaptors, batteries, power cables, and electronic storage devices worth approximately $332,702. The equipment was stolen from storage containers and other areas belonging to the 445th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, a U.S. Air Force unit, stationed at Shindand Air Base in Afghanistan. On at least one occasion, Maurer forced open a lock to gain entry to a storage container, and he also stole equipment from other locations where the equipment was being stored or used.
In January 2014, Maurer communicated with multiple vendors in the United States to arrange sales of the equipment that he stole. The vendors re-sold stolen equipment valued at approximately $152,697, while equipment worth approximately $180,005 was recovered from Maurer’s quarters, from vendors, or was intercepted after it was shipped but before it reached vendors. Maurer received payment from vendors via online transactions or wire transfer of funds.
Maurer is free on his own recognizance while awaiting sentencing, which was scheduled for April 7. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, while his plea agreement anticipates an advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines range of 24 to 30 months incarceration, and the Court must impose a reasonable sentence.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kartik K. Raman and DOJ Trial Attorney Wade Weems on detail to the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section from SIGAR.