back to article Was he sent on a spool's errand or something? Library staffer accused of stealing, reselling $1.3m of printer toner

A former public library employee is accused of stealing and reselling at least $1.3m worth of toner from his workplace over a 12-year period. A city audit report [PDF] emitted this month alleged Randall Whited, a former accounting associate at the Austin Public Library in Texas, used his position and a fistful of city credit …

  1. Flak

    “Looks like I made a mistake,” said one supervisor interviewed by the auditors

    Gross misconduct followed by summary dismissal more like!

    Seems there was a very lax culture in that organisation when it comes to financial controls...

    1. NeilPost Silver badge

      Re: “Looks like I made a mistake,” said one supervisor interviewed by the auditors

      I think the person approving the expenditure and the Financial Controller need that applies too as serially incompetent on oversight.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flogged on the black-and-white market?

    Once upon a time, some of the neighborhood ne'er-do-wells would show up at our shop asking if we needed any printer cartridges. As much as we didn't want to encourage theft, we had to concede that their prices were much more affordable than what the big box office supply chain was charging. Had we been using a printer that did not come to a screeching halt and refuse to do ANYTHING anytime one of the cartridges was deemed "low" we might have been less inclined to raise a middle finger to everyone up and down the printer manufacturer's sales food chain.

  3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    "repeatedly convicted of theft and burglary of a building"

    I would have thought after the first time, the owner would have not left his building out unattended. What was the guy doing, hotwiring and driving it away on joyrides... Folks, keep your building in a garage at night.

    1. Sceptic Tank Bronze badge

      Re: "repeatedly convicted of theft and burglary of a building"

      The hijacking of buildings is a real thing in Johannesburg.

    2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

      Re: "repeatedly convicted of theft and burglary of a building"

      Recycling this....sorry but not sorry.

      <plod voice>Good evening Mr Pym, we would like to talk to you about some missing buildings .....

    3. knarf

      Re: "repeatedly convicted of theft and burglary of a building"

      Every crim has the right to come clean and be a productive member of society. Not giving people a break after past crimes effectively creates a criminal class which has no choice but to eh... turn to crime.

  4. Robert Moore


    No one can rip you off like an accountant.

    That said, the managers were obviously not doing their jobs. I know if I send in an expense claim that is not fully itemized and painfully detailed, it gets sent back. Every. Single. Time!

    As it should.

  5. Tom 38 Silver badge

    Whited passed a criminal background check, and was hired in an accounting position, despite being repeatedly convicted of theft and burglary of a building in the 1980s and 1990s

    Crikey. Wonder what was in the building to hit it over and over again.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      As the old joke goes,

      “In central London, on average a man is mugged every 30 seconds...”

      “...and he’s getting mighty tired of it.”

  6. redpawn Silver badge

    Do they have any rare books anymore?

    With oversight like that a full audit and inventory are in order. Is there even any copper wire left in the building?

  7. whoseyourdaddy

    Watched an accounting department suddenly work round-the-clock after discovering the head clerk had hidden six figures of personal spending on her company credit card.

    She's headed to prison. Her team was facing termination for not noticing it.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      What were they working on round the clock? Hiding it from the next level up?

      1. Cederic Silver badge

        Validating the extent of the exposure - the CFO and CEO want to know that upfront immediately, and will not be happy at any delays.

        There's an argument that the damage is already done so take your time and look into it properly but that carries risks around recovering lost funds, being seen to respond to an issue and preventing the destruction of records by miscreants.

        Which is also why you have a whole team engaged, with a third party auditor in charge.

  8. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    aow much, actually?

    Library staffer accused of stealing, reselling $1.3m of printer toner

    That would be what, 2, maybe 3 boxes?

    Oh, sorry, that would be ink-jet refills.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: aow much, actually?

      I did wonder whether the quantities might be reminiscent of The Great Escape.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: aow much, actually?

      Laser's seem to be using the inkjet pricing model these days. Colour laser printers very cheap toner FECKING expensive. I just bought 2 HP Colour LaserJet Pro M454dw including the £120 cash back per printer it worked out at £104 each!!! Fast, duplex, a pretty decent printer for small workgroup use. A full set of toner HP 415A Toner Cartridge Value Pack CMY (2.1K Pages) K (2.4K Pages) is £550!!!!!!

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

        Re: aow much, actually?

        OLD lasers are cheaper.

        Paid $40 for a recycled LJ5 cartridge

        Found a $30 NIB HP cartridge on Goodwill

        Then a $20 NIB HP cartridge

        I figure the next few NIB HP carts are just going to show up on my front porch by magic, perhaps with $10 bills taped to them.

        I'm still working my way through the first one. I've put the printer and the other two carts in my will, because I will probably die before I need to use them. They are supposed to have expiration dates, but they are also sealed in heavy foil envelopes, so aside from high temps, I don't know what would affect them.

        1. keith_w Bronze badge

          Re: aow much, actually?

          Firmware. The expiry date is burned into them and is compared to the current date, at which time you will be informed that they are expired.

          1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

            Re: aow much, actually?

            Heh. LJ5 don't DO firmware :-)

            One of the reasons I like it.

            The carts for the new series LJs have enforced expiration, the LJ5 ones don't

          2. RobThBay

            Re: aow much, actually?

            My old and reliable HP6p is still going strong. It dosen't know what the date is, so it's safe from firmware expiry dates.

  9. Sleep deprived

    An honest mistake

    At first he thought the library was responsible for printing the loaned books, hence the toner purchase. He was later embarrassed to admit his mistake and silently sold the toner instead of discarding it in the sink.

  10. Winkypop Silver badge

    If you’re going to steal over 1 million dollars

    You’d better already be on the plane to Rio before they discover it.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: If you’re going to steal over 1 million dollars

      But if you steal 1 billion dollars you're already home free.

  11. beep54

    I'm a bit confused

    with one point. He was arrested in Hays county? Austin is in Travis county. Is Hays county where he lived or what?

    1. FILE_ID.DIZ
      Thumb Up

      Re: I'm a bit confused

      Yes, according to the linked article, he is a resident of Kyle, TX, which wikipedia tells me is in Hays county, so be was probably arrested at his home.

  12. Inventor of the Marmite Laser

    Will he end up with a black mark on his record?

    1. Sceptic Tank Bronze badge

      He was printing money over there.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No - faded out grey, hardly readable. They were out of toner....

  13. Scott Broukell

    Time For Him To Atone For His Sins

    <see title>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Time For Him To Atone For His Sins

      Given that his name was Randall Whited, I'd suggest they check the Tippex inventory too

  14. Claverhouse Silver badge

    It Would Take A Heart of Stone...

    Whited, it is claimed, would on occasion show up to work early and use his unsupervised time to take the toner out of the office to place in his car.

    A model employee !

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