RANDOM LAKE - A former employee of a Sheboygan County school district has been accused of stealing more than 400 tablet computers from the school.
Charges were filed against 33-year-old Mark A. Ustby on Thursday. Prosecutors say Ustby stole the computers before he abruptly quit his job overseeing technology at the Random Lake school district last Wednesday.
A custodian allegedly saw Ustby walking out of the building with two large cardboard boxes. The superintendent told investigators he then went into Ustby’s office and saw that the tablets – which were to be distributed to students – were missing.
According to the criminal complaint, Ustby admitted taking 150 to 200 school iPads and selling them on Craigslist beginning early this year. During the summer, Ustby said he stopped selling the iPads and began selling about 260 Asus brand tablets from a shipment that had just arrived.
Ustby said he sold the tablets for $100 to $120 each. School officials told investigators the iPads were worth at least $399 each, while the Asus tablets cost the district at least $281 each.
Prosecutors also allege Ustby stole a laptop computer from the district and that he asked a local business to donate iPads to the school district, which Ustby took for himself and sold. An investigation accounted for 38 of these tablets.
According to prosecutors, Ustby said he used the money to “support two or three individuals who were much worse off than him and could not get a job.”
The superintendent told investigators Ustby had been having money problems and had his wages garnished.
If convicted, Ustby faces up to 20 years in prison. He is due back on court on Wednesday for a preliminary hearing.
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