back to article IT guy at US govt fraud watchdog stole 16 computers from... US govt fraud watchdog

An IT contractor for a US government fraud and abuse watchdog pleaded guilty on Thursday to stealing 16 US government computers. According to prosecutors, Andrew Cheveers, 31, served as a techie for the State Department's Office of Inspector General (State OIG), where he held a security clearance and set up PCs for government …

  1. JJKing Silver badge

    I do like the Surface but.........try getting it fixed.

    On the surface, a straightforward crime and then there was the theft of the items as well.

    Too may stories about the Surface having a component go bad after warranty period ends and the poor bloody owners are being told by Micro$oft they will just need to buy a new one. Gone are the days when you could pull down a machine, de-solder the naughty, recalcitrant part and replace it. Now even the manufacturer is unable to fix their own product.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: I do like the Surface but.........try getting it fixed.

      Now even the manufacturer is unable to fix their own product.

      Well.. that's by design. Design it as such that nothing is replaceable and never ever stock spare parts. Result is more profit.

    2. Cederic Bronze badge

      Re: I do like the Surface but.........try getting it fixed.

      Joyfully my surface died in time to get a warranty replacement, and when its keyboard died while I was on holiday in Australia the MS store in Sydney kindly gave me a replacement.

      Ok, it's a US keyboard layout that entirely misses a whole key but it's better than taking a keyboardless tablet to the next 14 countries on my itinerary.

  2. redpawn Silver badge

    He didn't steal enough

    Manafort just got under three years for not paying millions in taxes, lying to congress, breaking plea agreements and being a tool of autocratic regimes. I bet this guy gets a longer sentence because he didn't steal hundreds of times more. Possession of marijuana has resulted in more time for less well off offenders than these two will serve.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: He didn't steal enough

      I was going to say the same thing. Willing to bet this guy gets a bigger sentence than Manafort, despite doing about 1/1000th of the crime.

      1. Robert 22

        Re: He didn't steal enough

        Some academics did a study and found that people tended to rate the severity of a crime greater if there was a single identifiable victim than if there many victims.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: He didn't steal enough

          Good thing they don't sentence serial killers in that way!

  3. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    Usual case of who watches the watchers!!!!

  4. Winkypop Silver badge

    If you're gunna steal

    At least go big.

    And be in Rio before they discover the crime!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well thats his life down the drain

    I'm stunned by the stupidity involved in this, he'll never work in a professional role again and if he got more than $400 per tablet I'll be amazed. its unbelievable that he didn't realise how easy it would be to track down the devices once they had been sold on and then track them back to him. I can only assume that he was hoping they would just be written off. This did happen to me many years ago on a roll out project with no secure storage. Pallets of PC base units were left in offices for weeks while the roll out took place, as service desk staff were fitting in the installs around their normal work to save money. this meant a planned 2 week deployment took over 3 months. Whilst there was perimeter security at the building exits and entrances and staff were trusted we still got down to the bottom tier of one pallet to find that the 4 base unit boxes were empty. In that case I was instructed to not report the crime and to write off the devices to avoid the story hitting the local press. Needless to say I did get the secure storage the next time around, and dedicated engineers so we could complete the job in a timely manner.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Well thats his life down the drain

      Probably he knew how bad the government's inventory management was, but wasn't smart enough to realize that Microsoft would be able to locate them by serial number quite easily - or assumed the government investigators wouldn't go so far.

    2. The Nazz Silver badge

      Re: Well thats his life down the drain

      Ha ha, lifts the lid on IT "expertise". If he was so stupid to think this would be a good idea, how come he was bright enough to get the job in the first place?

  6. Gene Cash Silver badge


    > Several of the devices sold bore State OIG property numbers

    Seriously? He can't peel off a very incriminating sticker?

    1. Snorlax Silver badge

      Re: Idiot

      I've worked for several companies who etch the asset numbers on laptops or tablets for this very reason.

      Laser etching is what the cool kids are doing these days

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "risk of purchasing duplicate or unneeded software,"

    They make it sound like that happens by accident. How dare they belittle the efforts of software salespeople like that!

  8. Chris G Silver badge

    Double whammy

    The last place I had anything to do with stock control, we had a fair amount of pilfering, so we found a supplier of self adhesive security labels. We would engrave the number on the label onto the stock and then stick the label over it.

    UV flourescing ink was good for marking inside some items too.

  9. drewsup

    Don't steal from the gubermint

    They take competition very seriously!

  10. x 7

    Failure rate............

    they''re crap devices anyway............we have a 30% failure rate on our Surface Book / Surface Book 2 machines

    its got to the stage that I'm on first name terms with Microsoft's support desk contractors

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