What just happened? Douglas Wright, Jr., a 27-year-old former Amazon operations manager, recently pleaded guilty to mail fraud after sealing more than $273,000 worth of goods from the e-commerce giant. If you had "shady Amazon operations manager" on your hardware shortage bingo card, go ahead and mark your spot.
According to the Department of Justice, from June 2020 to September 2021, Wright used his position as an operations manager at Amazon's warehouse in Charlotte, North Carolina, to ship merchandise including processors, hard drives and video cards to his home. He then sold the stolen merchandise to an unnamed computer wholesale company in California for profit.
The FBI worked with the US Postal Inspection Service to build their case. One has to wonder how the scheme could have gone on for 15 months before authorities took action, but perhaps they wanted to let it play out long enough to ensure they had the right person.
Of all the things to steal, why go after merchandise that is in heavy demand and likely under increased scrutiny from inventory managers? Then again, I suppose if he was putting a lot of thought into the scheme, he wouldn't have shipped the goods directly to his home, either.
Wright's guilty plea carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not yet been set.