An Oklahoma man who worked as a textbook salesman for a Hoboken-based publisher was sentenced Monday to one year and one day in prison for stealing more than $2.8 million dollars in textbooks from his former employer, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Christopher J. Brock, 45, of Yukon, Okla., previously pleaded guilty in Newark District Court to wire fraud that was part of an elaborate scheme that involved diverting free educational samples
intended for professors.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Brock carried out a plot to defraud technology book publisher John Wiley & Sons by taking sample textbooks and re-selling them for approximately $450,000.
Brock lived in Oklahoma while he worked for the Hoboken publisher, first as a higher publishing representative, and most recently as a district sales supervisor based in the Sooner state. Officials said the man accessed Wiley's corporate systems—including computers located in New Jersey—and diverted more than 16,000 textbooks and other items to himself. The state's attorney's office said Brock reportedly designated the items, fraudulently, as educational samples.
To avoid detection, Brock listed the names of real and fabricated university professors as recipients of the "promotional samples," but listed his own home address and other addresses he controlled as alternate shipping addresses as locations to ship the stolen books.
Once Brock received the diverted textbooks, he sold them to resellers and received payment through PayPal accounts he controlled. PayPal, in turn, would deposit the funds into bank accounts managed by Brock.
Fishman's statement indicated that the money Brock received through the book reselling scheme largely was used for personal expenditures, including, among other things, high-end home furnishings and scuba diving gear.
In addition to 366 days behind bars, U.S. District Court Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh sentenced Brock to two years of community service. Restitution will be determined at a later date.