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Seattle Tech Worker Inspired By 'Office Space' Nets $300,000 In Alleged Software Scheme

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Dec 31, 2022 - 03:00 AM

A Seattle tech worker was charged this week in a criminal theft scheme which netted around $300,000 from his employer.

28-year-old Ermenildo Castro of Tacoma allegedly told detectives he was inspired by the 90's movie "Office Space" when he allegedly wrote software code to manipulate shipping fees paid to his employer, Zulily.com, to go into his own bank accounts.

According to KOMO news, citing court documents, Castro netted around $260,000 in shipping fees.

What's more, he used his position as a software engineer to alter the price of around $41,000 in merchandise for 'pennies on the dollar.'

According to police, the company’s cybersecurity staff found a document on Castro’s laptop titled ‘OfficeSpace project’, which outlined Castro’s scheme to ‘cleanup evidence’ by manipulating audit logs and disabling alarm logging. The theft began in February and by March the company had identified discrepancies in the shipping fees being charged to customers, an SPD report states.

Castro was part of the team assigned to investigate the discrepancies in shipping fees, according to the report. -KOMO

Investigators for the company eventually caught on to Castro's scheme and visited his house, where they found several boxes of merchandise piled up in the driveway and around the front door. 

He claimed the orders, which included more than 1,000 items, were sent to his house in error.

"When asked why he never returned the items to Zulily, he said that once they fired him his opinion was, ‘f--- ‘em’," reads the police report.

Seattle police wrote a narrative on how Castro's alleged scheme was like "Office Space."

“In the Initech office, the insecure Peter Gibbons hates his job. His best friends are two software engineers Michael Bolton and Samir Nagheenanajar, that also hate Initech. When he discovers that Michael and Samir will be downsized, they decide to plant a virus in the banking system to embezzle fraction of cents on each financial operation into Peter’s account. However[,] Michael commits a mistake in the software on the decimal place and they siphon off over $300,000. The desperate trio tries to fix the problem, return the money and avoid going to prison.”

Apparently Castro thought he could avoid 'pound me in the ass prison.'

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