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State worker pleads guilty to selling counterfeit phone cases, stealing $38K from payroll


ALBANY, New York — A New York state employee will get five years of probation for running online trademark counterfeiting businesses and stealing nearly $40,000 by charging the state for time he didn't work.

Prosecutors say Wajahat Abbasi pleaded guilty Thursday to grand larceny and trademark counterfeiting. Along with probation, Abbasi must pay $38,000 in restitution, quit his job and forfeit $120,000.

Investigators found nearly $220,000 worth of counterfeit cellphone cases in Abbasi's home in an Albany suburb. Investigators purchased the items online from companies controlled by Abbasi.

Prosecutors say he didn't show up for work 53 times from January 2013 to December 2014. But he still charged the state for the time, stealing more than $38,000 in payroll.

Abbasi was a computer programmer for the state Office of Information Technology Services.

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