Gaming

Pyrenees-Atlantiques and Landes: commercial convicted of “furious” theft of thousands of video games it resold

The charges were filed between February 2008 and June 2012 and involve about forty Landes and Basque supermarkets, as well as one in Béarn. Hired by a wholesaler, this salesman stole video games, CDs, and DVDs from the supermarkets he supplied. He then resold them at half price over the Internet.

“This period was the result of several facts: the unexpected and brutal loss of my mother and a couple that fell apart due to financial difficulties. The simplest solution was to give in to temptation,” explains the 47-year-old resident of Saint-Jean-de-Luz in a bar today.

He agrees that the flight became “frantic”: “It was mechanical, without understanding what was really happening. »

400,000 euros in four years

It is the director of the establishment in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port (64 years old) who puts an end to this spiral. A manager who notices anomalies in inventory confronts the salesperson. Who seeks to escape by car and cannot overthrow the director.

According to investigators, more than 250,000 euros were deposited on the merchant’s account between transfers, checks and cash. The latter explains that he spent everything on walks or daily purchases. The shops estimated their damage at around 420,000 euros.

The resellers were also disturbed by the courts and convicted at first instance. Two turned. One of them, sentenced to 18 months in prison for concealing the theft, is present and asks to be released. He categorically denies knowing about the fraudulent origin of the products. Despite the low prices, despite the barcode labels. Despite, also, the absence of overheads, except for three or four at the beginning. The Attorney General asked to confirm the verdict.

“Accident en route”

For his part, rocking back and forth in his jacket, the salesman acknowledges the facts. If he filed an appeal, it should have reduced the two-year sentence. His lawyer, Me Alain Astaby, is calling not only to look at the estimated 400,000 euros in embezzlement. His client has no criminal record: “Until 2008, he was Mr. Toute-le-Monde, a respectable citizen. »

Since then, the fortieth, who now works as an advertiser in the pool industry, has not been talked about again. “It was a major accident, but an accident,” says Mi Astabi. For him, the video is “already punished”, as he must reimburse the tax authorities almost 200,000 euros for not declaring money related to these facts.

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