Impressed By ‘Workplace Area’ Movie, Washington Software program Engineer Steals Over $300K From Employer, Prosecutors Say


(CNN) — A Washington man allegedly transferred hundreds of {dollars} from his employer into a private account after being impressed by the 1999 cult film “Workplace Area,” in accordance with an arrest report by the Seattle Police Division.

Ermenildo Valdez Castro, 28, labored for the net retailer Zulily as a software program engineer from December 2018 till he was fired in June, in accordance with police.

“Beginning within the spring of 2022, Castro started modifying Zulily’s software program code in ways in which allowed him to steal from the corporate,” the police report mentioned.

Police mentioned Castro inserted three kinds of malicious code within the checkout course of at Zulily and through the use of these strategies, “stole a mixed $302,278.52 earlier than he was terminated in June 2022.”

Zulily’s fraud workforce was in a position to uncover a sample of worth changes on a number of merchandise that have been offered by the corporate, which police mentioned have been ordered by Castro and shipped to his residence, the report mentioned.

A OneNote doc on Castro’s work laptop computer referred to as “OfficeSpace Challenge” was discovered via the investigation, and in it, a “scheme to steal delivery charges,” was outlined, in accordance with the report.

The police report additionally notes the plot of the film “Workplace Area” revolved round engineers who produced a plan to maneuver fractions of cents into a private checking account.

Castro was contacted by police and arrested on June 21. On that date he spoke with detectives after being learn his rights. Throughout that interview he “confirmed that he named his scheme to steal from Zulily after the film,” police mentioned.

Castro additionally instructed authorities he positioned orders for over 1,000 gadgets that have been shipped to his home, and that they have been a part of a “testing course of that Zulily was privy to, however he claimed that there was a script that was to be run shortly thereafter that may primarily cancel the order and make sure the orders didn’t course of,” the report mentioned.

“He mentioned the take a look at orders must be billed to a private bank card, thus his altering of the gadgets’ costs, as to keep away from incurring a big expense on his private bank card. He mentioned he forgot to run the script; subsequently, the orders shipped. He admitted that he didn’t ever notify Zulily employees of the orders being delivered,” the police report mentioned.

Castro additionally instructed police he threw lots of the gadgets away as soon as he was fired.

“When requested why he by no means returned the gadgets to Zulily, he mentioned that when they fired him, his opinion was, ‘F**ok ’em,’” the report mentioned.

On December 20, Daniel Satterberg, the prosecuting legal professional for King County, filed fees of theft within the first diploma and identification theft within the first diploma within the Superior Courtroom of Washington for King County towards Castro.

As of Friday afternoon, the King County Superior Courtroom Clerk’s Workplace web site didn’t checklist an legal professional for Castro.

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