Former Pfizer Employee Gets Suspended Sentence for eBay Scam
Former Pfizer Employee Gets Suspended Sentence for Ebay Scam [the Day, New London, Conn.]
From Day, The (New London, CT) (December 6, 2011)
Dec. 05--A former Pfizer scientist who purchased more than $52,000 worth of electronics using company funds and resold them on eBay for personal gain received a suspended prison sentence today after repaying the company the entire amount.
Kyuha Lee, 25, worked as a biologist at the Pfizer Inc.'s Groton facility until the thefts were discovered in May 2011. He admitted he had been using his laptop computer and the company's purchasing program to order GPS units, calculators and head sets from websites such as Staples, according to prosecutor Lawrence J. Tytla. Lee said he was depositing the proceeds into his bank account and planned to send it to his father, who was ill in Korea.
Pfizer officials began investigating after an administrative worker noticed Lee was receiving numerous packages at his lab space and looked into his supply account. Lee told investigators he noticed that if he ordered items under $1,000, nobody questioned the purchases.
He was charged initially with first-degree larceny, a felony. He eventually pleaded guilty to fourth-degree larceny, a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to 11 months in prison, fully suspended, followed by two years' conditional discharge. His attorney, Matthew Berger, had argued that Lee should be granted accelerated rehabilitation, a diversionary program in which first-time offenders are able to clear their criminal records.
Judge Patrick J. Clifford denied the application for accelerated rehabilitation, citing the amount of money involved.
"He was one of those good persons who did a bad thing," Clifford said. "The company has been made whole. I didn't agree that accelerated rehabilitation was appropriate, but I do agree with this sentence."
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Posted: December 2011