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Former defense contractor gets 1 year, 1 day in prison for stealing from military base

A Naperville man who admitted stealing $332,702 in computer equipment from the U.S. military while working as a defense contractor in Afghanistan was sentenced Thursday to a year and a day in prison, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Timothy L. Maurer, a former employee of Raytheon Corp. who arrived at Shindand Air Base in Afghanistan in December 2013, pleaded guilty in January to theft of government property. He admitted repeatedly taking the equipment from the 445th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron’s storage containers, even forcing open a lock at least once.

Maurer took more than 150 pieces of equipment, including laptops, cellphones, computer switches, adaptors, batteries and power cables, according to his plea agreement. Then he began to sell the equipment to vendors who specialize in the re-sale of such items.

All the while, federal prosecutors said, he was making more than $200,000 a year.

“That sum — much, much greater than what the average service member in combat was making at the time — was apparently not enough,” the prosecutors wrote in a court filing last month. “And defendant seems to have agreed to work in Afghanistan with the intent of using his position of trust to illegally augment his already-high salary by accessing and stealing from the very U.S. military units he was supposed to serve.”

U.S. District Judge Robert Dow Jr. handed down the sentence Thursday. Earlier this month, Maurer wrote to the judge and said he had disgraced himself. The Fairbury native said he panicked while going through an expensive divorce.

“I struggle daily to hold my head up and put on a brave face,” Maurer wrote. “But more often than not, I look down in shame.”

The U.S. attorney’s office said Dow called the crime “significant because it occurred within a war zone” and “because it was committed by someone the military entrusted.”