Former IT Contractor Pleads Guilty to Trafficking Stolen Property from the U.S. Small Business Administration

Former IT Contractor Pleads Guilty to Trafficking Stolen Property from the U.S. Small Business Administration

Defendant Brazenly Used Victim’s WiFi to Post Stolen Equipment

            WASHINGTON – Ashley Robinson, 31, of Bowie, Maryland, pleaded guilty today, in Superior Court, to one count of trafficking in stolen property in connection with stealing and reselling at least at least $110,233 worth of laptop computers from U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  The plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Special Agent in Charge Amaleka McCall-Brathwaite, of the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General (SBA OIG), and Acting Investigations Branch Chief Brendt Johnson, of the Federal Protective Service (FPS).

            Superior Court Judge Erik Christian accepted Robinson’s guilty plea and scheduled sentencing for November 28, 2023. As part of the plea agreement, Robinson agrees to pay restitution to the victim.

            Robinson was employed as a contractor who was assigned to work at the SBA Information Technology Service Center service desk at SBA headquarters in Washington, D.C. According to the government’s evidence, between November 20, 2017, and August 22, 2018, Robinson stole and then resold at least 57 laptop computers from the SBA. In September and October 2017, the SBA received 100 Microsoft Surface Pro laptop computers, each of which was purchased for at least $1,933.92. Robinson had direct access to these computers as part of her job responsibilities, which included issuing computers to SBA headquarters staff. A few months later, the SBA’s Office of the Chief Information Officer determined that 72 of the laptop computers were unaccounted for and had never issued to SBA headquarters staff.

            The SBA’s Office of Inspector General (SBA OIG) launched an investigation which revealed that Robinson had taken possession of, posted, and sold, multiple SBA laptop computers on OfferUp, an online customer-to-customer marketplace used to buy and sell products and services and did so while was using the SBA headquarters’ guest wireless network. In total, the Defendant had sold 57 Microsoft Surface Pro computers on OfferUp to seven different individuals during the relevant period, for an approximate loss to the SBA of at least $110,233.44.

            In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Graves, Special Agent in Charge McCall-Brathwaite, and Acting Investigations Branch Chief Johnson commended the work of those who investigated the case from SBA OIG. They also acknowledged the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin D. Bleiberg, with assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorney Molly Gaston.

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