No matter how much time you’ve wasted at the water cooler this year, you’ll look like the Employee of the Year when compared to the Foxconn worker who allegedly made away with a stunning $1.56 million worth of iPhones over the course of his employment. A manager who has been identified only as “Tsai” was employed in the testing department, and has been charged with being the ringleader of a group of employees who allegedly stole thousands of iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s models from the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China.
The stolen phones were meant to be disposed of, but instead, according to court documents, Tsai and his accomplices sold the handsets to stores between 2013 and 2014 before being caught. At some point, Foxconn became suspicious (unsurprisingly, given that 5,700 iPhones were ultimately stolen), and reported its concerns to Taiwanese authorities. Tsai was arrested (no word on whether he got a phone call), and he has been charged with breach of trust, and could be looking at 10 years in jail, prosecutors say.
Foxconn certainly has a storied history when it comes to employee-related scandals. A couple years ago, Asia One reports, five former Foxconn employees were charged with breach of trust after allegedly soliciting around $5 million in kickbacks from Foxconn suppliers in exchange for passing quality checks. These five individuals were ultimately sentenced to over 10 years in prison by a Taipei district court (though their transgression seems more severe than stealing phones that were meant to be discarded).
Foxconn itself also has a less than stellar reputation as an employer, and has come under scrutiny for employee suicides and the use of underage workers in the last few years. In any case, it looks like the lesson to be learned from this latest case is clear — don’t steal from your employer. It really, really doesn’t end well.
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