Former Director of Emergency Management at University of Pittsburgh Faces Charges for Stealing Personal Protective Equipment from the University and Selling It Online
Sometimes you can find ordinarily expensive items for sale online at much lower prices, and when you do, it feels like a victory, but sometimes there is a dark side. If you ever find Mary Kay cosmetics, Beachbody shakes, or any other products typically sold through a multilevel marketing business model, listed online at rock bottom prices, chances are that the seller is selling them at a loss after dropping out of the MLM, trying to recover a few pennies for every dollar they spent on a business opportunity that was rigged against them from the beginning. And then there is the possibility that the seller stole the items before listing them for sale. In an economy where everyone is broke, you might prefer not to ask questions about whether a retail employee used their employee discount to get name brand merchandise at a discounted rate and then sold it to you for a slightly higher, but still discounted price. In this week’s case, though, the defendant’s alleged sale of items he took home from work could have endangered the lives of the people his employer tasked him with protecting. If you are facing criminal charges for allegedly stealing items from your employer, contact a Pittsburgh theft crimes defense lawyer.
Is Theft of Personal Protective Equipment Worse Than Theft of Other Items?
Unless you are exceptionally skeptical of what you read on the news, or unless you are a lifelong prepper, you probably panic purchased a few items at the beginning of the pandemic, anticipating that these would become scarce. You might still have a stash of toilet paper, dry pasta, and canned goods that you bought last spring. Not only were food staples and household items in short supply in the early days of the pandemic, but personal protective equipment, such as masks, was especially scarce. Given that the availability of personal protective equipment has been a matter of life and death during this pandemic, one might expect that stealing it would carry a harsher penalty than stealing other items, but the law tends to look at the monetary value of the stolen items instead of at how much the victim needed them.
In the News
Until recently, Christopher Casamento was the Director of Emergency Management at the University of Pittsburgh. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he allegedly stole more than 13,000 items of personal protective equipment (PPE) meant for students, faculty, and staff. Casamento allegedly sold the PPE on eBay, with the proceeds of the illegal sales adding up to $19,000. He has been charged with interstate transportation of stolen property, because he sold the PPE online to buyers throughout the nation. If convicted, he could face up to ten years in prison, plus financial penalties.
Contact an Attorney Today for Help
A Pittsburgh theft crimes lawyer can help you no matter what you are accused of stealing. Contact the law offices of Gary E. Gerson about your case.