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Posted at 04:18 PM ET, 12/16/2011

Some news about a gadget caper in Maryland

(Search for “gadget caper” on your iPad and you might find the following story. - BLOOMBERG)
This is the holiday season, when most news about gadgets is news about how many gadgets are being purchased, shipped, and waiting to be charged. Let’s take a break from all that consumerism. Here is some news about a gadget caper:

Rhayda Barnes-Thomas, a former Charles County public school employee, was just sentenced to 27 months in federal prison for siphoning federal grants for her school to buy and sell gadgets for herself, her friends, her family and even her hairdresser. She pleaded guilty.

Roughly 200 gadgets that Barnes-Thomas, 41, paid for with the federal funds are unaccounted for, according to prosecutors in Maryland. Her list of purchases reads like a gadget lovers’ Santa list: Nintendo Wiis, Wii games, Sony PlayStation 3s, iPods, iPads, Macbooks, and even some TVs.

In one instance, prosecutors say Barnes-Thomas purchased an iPad with funds from the federal program, then sold it to her hairdresser for $200. (Very good deal for the hairdresser.) She also gave another illegally purchased iPad to her daughter, who then sold it for $100.

As a gadget lover let me say this: Her daughter probably could have gotten more than $100 for a new iPad, just FYI.

Happy holidays.

By  |  04:18 PM ET, 12/16/2011

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