Mark James: Took Hewlett-Packard for $10 Million by Posing As Big Companies
HP: Not such a Big Deal after all.
A British citizen has been charged with conspiracy to defraud Hewlett-Packard out of $10 million by setting up phony companies to get big discounts on computers he would then resell.
The U.S. Attorney's Office announced that Mark Allan James, 44, had been charged and is expected in court today.
Jones took advantage of HP's "Big Deal" program, prosecutors say, in which the company offers large discounts for customers who will be buying lots of product.
The USAO says he "recruited individual business owners to pose as persons interested in securing a large volume of computing products...HP applied steep discounts to the products for various business reasons to include the opportunity for future large volume sales, further utilization of HP products in the customer's technology infrastructure and continued maintenance of existing HP products."
Rice Owls Mens Basketball vs. Northwestern State Demons Basketball
TicketsMon., Dec. 19, 7:00pm
Rice Owls Mens Basketball vs. St. Thomas University Men's Basketball
TicketsWed., Dec. 21, 7:00pm
Advocare V100 Texas Bowl
TicketsWed., Dec. 28, 8:00pm
Rice Owls Mens Basketball vs. Middle Tennessee State Univ Blue Raiders Mens Basketball
TicketsThu., Jan. 5, 7:00pm
The straw companies would pay HP for the equipment, so the computer giant thought everything was on the up and up.
James, however, took the deeply discounted merchandise and resold it for a handsome profit, prosecutors say.
"In reality, the HP computer equipment never reached the straw buyers, but was instead diverted for re-sale by the company for whom James was procuring the discounted products," the USAO says.
The scheme worked from May 2009 through November 2011 "and caused losses to HP in excess of $10 million," prosecutors say.
He faces up to 20 years imprisonment and up to a $250,000 fine. He faces the same sentence if convicted on an international money laundering conspiracy in addition to a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the laundered funds, whichever is greater.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.