USDA contractor sentenced for computer theft

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Department of Agriculture contractor has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for reselling stolen computer equipment over the Internet. The U.S. attorney's office said in a news release Thursday that 48-year-old Gragg R. Vaill of Lee's Summit also was ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution.

Prosecutors said he stole about $573,000 worth of computer equipment and sold it over the Internet for more than 166,000. Vaill pleaded guilty in July to one count of mail fraud related to shipping the stolen computer equipment across state lines.

He also admitted to one count of money laundering related to financial transactions of the proceeds of the fraud scheme. Prosecutors said Vaill's contract position allowed him unrestricted access to the agency's main facility as well as additional office spaces and the warehouse.

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