back to article SAP boss cops jail time plea after Lego barcode bust

A former SAP vice president has struck a plea deal with prosecutors after he was caught running a side business selling Lego kits purchased using home-made barcodes. Thomas Langenbach, a former VP of SAP Labs in Palo Alto, was caught by store detectives at a local Target after he was observed sticking a new barcode on a Star …


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  1. K

    He has since issued a statement

    Apologizing and hopes to rebuild his life..

    brick by brick!

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Don Jefe

    Head Case?

    Ok, scoring some high dollar Lego kit for cheap then reselling, I can understand that. But why risk your scam and more charges over a shitty $49 child's push scooter and dish soap?

    What strikes me as really odd is that since the bar codes aren't universal in size he seems to have printed them up specifically for the scooter and soap... I wonder if he's got a mental disorder and he just has to steal?

    1. ryanp

      Re: Head Case?

      definitely seems like there are a few cogs loose in that head. Are you really going to start a black market lego's ring when you are most likely making good money as a VP at SAP if you are completely sane? This is beyond just taking the odd BIC pen, but actually creating black market bar codes wholesale. This sounds like something out of a Coen brothers movie.

      1. Not That Andrew

        Re: Head Case?

        He was a VP at SAP. It should go without saying that he's an amoral nutcase.

      2. goldcd

        Indeed - I feel sorry for the guy

        I mean OK, you've managed to get $100 off the price, but taking into account the time it must have taken him to do this, run the ebay sales, pay their fees etc etc. Well I can't even see the hourly rate being that good, let alone what he'd get from work..

    2. Bilious

      Re: Head Case?

      He should have a full brain examination including scans. He might very well have a brain tumour to explain his bizarre behaviour.

    3. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: Head Case?

      Nah - Just Business as Usual:

      Looting and Fraud brands one as a "key performer", once the "high performing" frauds are in management, it becomes a viable business model and when copied everywhere, the fraud becomes so high a percentage of GDP that no one really can be prosecuted.

      But .... The legal immunity only works for corporations, not individuals! Individuals supposedly have morals so they are held responsible.

  4. Mage Silver badge

    Was his SAP pay not enough?

    Such greed.

  5. Mr Young

    Total fail!

    He was meant to be sticking the barcodes on potential Playmonauts ffs

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wake me up

    When you can report on somebody from within the Wall street who faces a jail sentence. This was worthless even for a Friday.

    1. Fatman

      Re: Wake me up


      And Madoff don't count, because he outed himself.

    2. Rukario

      Re: Wake me up

      The Bernank!

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Wake me up

        Too big to do time!

  7. John Savard Silver badge

    Burden of Proof

    For a civil lawsuit, as opposed to a criminal trial, the standard is the "balance of probabilities", hence hopefully Target can still get back every cent that was stolen from it.

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Burden of Proof

      He had the Lego things, very probably they were stolen, but were they stolen from Target? He could have, and probably did steal from other stores as well.

      1. Homer 1

        Re: Burden of Proof

        Surely the proof is on his debit/credit card statement, which Target can match against their POS transaction records.

        Unless he paid cash, which would be highly unusual in the US.

        1. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: Burden of Proof

          If he paid by card, they could trace him entirely from cctv records, because they would know which card was used in that till. I'm guessing he thought about that.

    2. Joe User

      Re: Burden of Proof

      But this trove wasn't considered in Langenbach's plea bargain, nor were the 194 items he had listed on eBay at the time of his arrest, since the police couldn't prove that the items were fraudulently purchased.

      Did it not occur to the police to check the boxes in his house for home-made bar codes? That would be a dead giveaway that the items were fraudulently purchased.

    3. kain preacher

      Re: Burden of Proof

      Actually in California there is restitution that is automatic with these types of crimes. Steal a $15 item and you pay up to $500 in restitution .

  8. ecofeco Silver badge

    You have to wonder

    What other things he was doing on the job.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge


    I definitely think this guy needs to play the mental health card.

    Now if somebody did this and paid with a cloned credit card that would be neat.

    But that does not look like what happened.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: WTF?

      He could go into the court room and just stick discount barcodes on everything: The bailiff, his attorney, the furniture, the judges robes and gavel, just absolutely everything.

  10. DuncanL

    "dish liquid"?.....

    OK USAians - what the flipping heck is "dish liquid"?

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: "dish liquid"?.....

      It's for cleaning parabolic antennas

    2. Don Jefe

      Re: "dish liquid"?.....

      It is liquid soap for washing the dishes.

      Speaking about the antennas is frowned upon and Mr. Woods will be, educated, regarding his outburst.

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: "dish liquid"?.....

      Washing up liquid. Fairy liquid (other brands exist)

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: "dish liquid"?..... Fairy Liquid

        Olive Oil

        Corn Oil

        Sunflower Oil

        Cod Liver Oil

        But Baby oil and Fairy Liquid?

        What are they made out of?

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: "dish liquid"?.....

        >Fairy liquid

        i don't think thats very politicaly correct anymore

        it's "alternate lifestyle choice" liquid

  11. FuzzyTheBear

    Idiot of The Month Award

    Maybe it's time for a new Idiot Of The Month award given to the best of the best idiotic moves made by IT personnel worldwide in a given time period and of course a yearly ceremony / celebration with vast amounts of beer for the top idiot . This one is at least worthy of the Idiot of the Month and i nominate the fella .

    What a stupid jerk :)

    1. kain preacher

      Re: Idiot of The Month Award

      Well no beer for him. No booze when you are on parole.

  12. Mephistro

    It's a pity for SAP

    The guy was good management material!

    Personally I'd be surprised if less than a 50 % of big companies high executives are mugging ancient ladies for their monthly pay checks, or indulging in other similar hobbies. Just to keep themselves sharp, you know.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: It's a pity for SAP

      It's certainly smarter more inventive, more innovative and more profitable than anything any of their other VPs have done

      1. Mephistro

        Re: It's a pity for SAP

        And probably more ethical too. ;0)

  13. Annihilator Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "Investigations at Langenbach's palatial home found hundreds of unopened Lego kits, shipping boxes, and barcode printing equipment."

    Do they mean "a printer and some labels"?

    Either way, when the penny dropped on what he was doing I did think "genius!!". I'm off to Rymans to buy some labels.

  14. kain preacher

    If he is Married

    I want to hear how he explained this to his wife. Um hun I have some bad news to tell you. You mean other than these cops in our home? Yeah about that we are going to have to move I lost my job and no one is going to hire me.

  15. Herby

    Greedy ALWAYS get busted!

    He was in fact greedy.

    If he had done it ONCE it would have worked.

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