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Former IT Worker Pays $45,138 to School District for Apple Products He Sold on eBay
Editor’s Note: At the request of the school district, the press release below has been updated to remove the name of the IT technician who uncovered the theft.
Columbus – The Orange City School District (Cuyahoga County) received $45,138 in restitution on Tuesday from a former employee who used his position to acquire discounted Apple products that he sold on eBay.
Mark Urman pleaded guilty on April 24 to a fourth-degree felony count of theft in office following an investigation by the Auditor of State’s office. Urman, 32, worked as a technician in the information technology department from 2009 through May 2015, where he managed the district’s AT&T cell phone accounts.
Another technician who took over for Urman after his departure grew suspicious of his former co-worker when he logged into the district’s AT&T account and noticed several orders of iPhones delivered to Urman’s residence in Shaker Heights.
The employee recalled a conversation in which Urman mentioned his eBay account, so he searched for it online and found a number of iPhones listed in the account’s sale history. The employee immediately notified his supervisor, who requested an investigation from the Auditor’s office.
“This vigilant employee deserves a great deal of gratitude for his investigative prowess,” Auditor Yost said. “His prompt, appropriate handling of this matter was instrumental in securing justice for the district and community.”
The investigation revealed that Urman sold 85 iPhones on eBay. Using the district’s AT&T account, he ordered the phones at discounted prices available for employees who were eligible to upgrade their phones.
When employees chose not to upgrade, Urman ordered the discounted phones anyway – for less than $1 – and sold them online for between $180 and $430. In addition, he sold 21 laptops, 11 iPads and six other Apple products he took directly from the district. In all, he made a $45,138 profit from the sale of the items.
During an interview with investigators, Urman said he was “clearly out of control” and volunteered to repay the district. Judge Shannon Gallagher of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court ordered him to make full restitution before entering his plea this past week. A check for the full amount was delivered to the district on Tuesday.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on June 4.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.