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Man sentenced for stealing $2.8M in textbooks from Hoboken employer

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A former employee of a Hoboken-based publisher was sentenced today to one year in federal prison for stealing more than $2.8 million dollars in textbooks from his former employer through an elaborate scheme that involved diverting free educational samples intended for professors.

FBI agents arrested Christopher J. Brock of Yukon, Okla., in June after federal authorities said he diverted more than 16,000 textbooks and other items to himself that he designated as free educational samples after accessing the corporate systems of John Wiley & Sons.

To avoid detection, he “designated both actual and fabricated professors as the purported recipients of the items and listed his own home address and other addresses that he controlled as alternate shipping addresses for those professors, directing that the books be shipped to those addresses,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.

“This made it appear in the records of Wiley that the free education samples were legitimately going to professors when, in reality, they were being sent to Brock,” he said.

He then sold them to resellers and received payment through PayPal accounts that he controlled, then transferred the funds into  his own bank accounts.

Federal authorities said he used the ill-gotten gains high-end home furnishings and scuba diving equipment, among other things.

Wiley is one of the largest publishers of technical writing in the world, with an estimated market value of roughly 3 billion. A part of its invengory are collegiate textbooks distributed to schools and universities.

Brock lived in Oklahoma and was employed by Wiley, first as a higher education publishing representative, and, later, as a district sales supervisor based in Oklahoma.

Fishman credited the FBI for the investigation and thanked John Wiley & Sons for its cooperation and assistance. Handling the case for the government was Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel V. Shapiro of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

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