MERIDEN — A former employee of Tradebe Environmental Services faces charges after police said he used his position in the company to fraudulently purchase over a thousand iPhones in 2019.
Brian Pearsall, 45, of 403 Tiffany Lane, Bristol, was charged by warrant on Sunday with first-degree larceny.
Police responded to a complaint in August 2019 from the vice president of risk management and general counsel of Tradebe Environmental Services, a global hazardous waste management company.
The complaint alleged that Pearsall, the IT infrastructure administrator at the time, “used his position to steal a large quantity of Apple iPhones from the company and then sold them for his own personal gain,” the report said.
Tradebe has offices on Hobart Street and Gracey Avenue in Meriden, according to its website.
Police noted Pearsall’s duties included all elements of user support and support of IT equipment. He was authorized to order new or replacement phones from Verizon Wireless’ online portal, which were charged to the Tradebe corporate account.
A representative from Verizon contacted Tradebe on Aug. 6, 2019 after an audit showed that over 2,000 iPhone 7s were purchased in the previous 12 months for 99 cents each, the report said. Only 200 of the phones were activated on the Tradebe account.
The Tradebe IT department noted that about 500 to 600 iPhones were currently distributed to the company’s U.S. employees, and on average between 50 to 200 phones would be expected to be purchased annually to replace damaged phones or provide new employees with a phone, the report stated.
A Tradebe employee reached out to Pearsall by email questioning the number of iPhones purchased. According to the police report, Pearsall replied to the email admitting to buying extra phones and “hustling on the side and selling them.” Pearsall offered to quit before the company fired him, the report stated. Pearsall’s employment was terminated on Aug. 12, 2019, the report said.
Police investigating learned a large number of packages would arrive for Pearsall at the company’s office at 234 Hobart St. and he would pick up the packages after hours or on the weekend sometimes. The investigation showed along with the iPhones there were several other devices that were purchased at higher costs to Tradebe, resulting in a loss of about $22,764, the report said. Police attempted to contact Pearsall but were unsuccessful.
Pearsall was taken into custody by Plymouth police on Saturday and transferred to Meriden police custody for the active larceny warrant. He was released on $25,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Meriden Superior Court on Aug. 20.
[email protected]: @LaurenSellewRJ