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Siblings plead guilty to stealing over $6 million in laptops

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Former Stanford employee Patricia Castaneda and her brother, Eric Castaneda, were charged with stealing over 800 laptops from the School of Humanities and Sciences on Feb. 8. 

Patricia Castaneda pleaded guilty to federal program theft, while Eric Castaneda pleaded guilty to conspiring to transport stolen property across state lines on March 22, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

During her time at Stanford, Patricia Castaneda was tasked with ordering laptops for staff and faculty at the School of Humanities and Sciences, according to court documents. She allegedly abused her position to purchase laptops to sell to an individual she met on Craigslist. Later on, her brother was accused of selling additional stolen laptops to an individual in Folsom who then resold them to out-of-state buyers, according to the DOJ. 

Patricia Castaneda stole over $4 million worth of laptops from the University, while her brother is charged with thefts of up to $2.3 million, DOJ documents state.

Both siblings face up to a $250,000 fine. Patricia Castaneda also faces a penalty of up to 10 years in prison while Eric Castaneda could receive a penalty of up to five years in prison. The siblings will be sentenced on June 7 by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller.

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Victoria Hsieh '24 is a Staff Writer for The Daily looking to major in Economics and Biology. She is a Seattle native and enjoys hiking in her free time. Contact The Daily’s News section at news ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.