Physics Professor Masterminds Major Scam: Earns $530,000 from Stolen Computers

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.08 - 2023 12:18 PM CET

Physics Professor Masterminds Major Scam.

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A physics and chemistry professor was revealed as the mastermind behind a major scam involving stolen computers in Guyancourt, France.

According to Le Parisien, three men, aged between 21 and 39, were sentenced to varying terms for stealing computer equipment from the regional site of Crédit Agricole bank. The stolen merchandise, worth over €500,000 ($530.000) was then resold on the internet platform Leboncoin.

According to Le Parisien, the group, active for several months, had been pilfering brand new laptops and accessories intended for employees of Crédit Agricole in Guyancourt, Yvelines.

By the end of October, the bank noticed the disappearance of hundreds of computers, amounting to €300,000 ($320.000). The urban security burglary group of the Élancourt police station launched an investigation.

The investigation focused on two employees of a subcontracting company. The analysis of their phones led to their implication in almost all the thefts dating back to May 2023. Meanwhile, investigators discovered nine ads on Leboncoin selling these laptops, leading them to identify the seller as the head of a company.

On the evening of November 20th, another burglary occurred, with the same modus operandi. This time, 128 computers worth €200,000 ($215.000) were stolen. The police, assisted by the departmental intervention company and canine teams, arrested three suspects and another man suspected of participating in the resale.

Searches at their homes in Élancourt, Trappes, Dreux, and Nanterre uncovered 56 laptops at one location. The person in possession was, in fact, the manager of the company and the brains behind the operation, who turned out to be a physics and chemistry professor. Two others were identified as his accomplices, and the fourth man was found to be a figurehead manager of the company.

During their custody, the four men confessed but did not provide clear explanations about the origins of the €32,000 ($34.000) found in their possession.

Cash and bank accounts were seized as criminal assets. The figurehead manager, who was managing the company, was acquitted, giving him the benefit of the doubt. It appeared that he was manipulated by the other three individuals​