The potential resale value of cartridges on the black market are believed to be the cause of many office thefts overseas and in Australia.
With the high cost of cartridges, it is easy to understand why many companies are seeing thefts within the office of ink cartridges, laser toner cartridges, and other printer ink cartridge supplies. In a recent story published by The New York Times, state prosecutors accused a former employee of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, a well known law firm, of stealing toner cartridges valued at an estimated $376,000. He is also accused of reselling those toner cartridges on what is called the black market. The thefts took place over a two-year period. It was reported that the toner cartridges have a market value of between $80 and about $260., and were sold for $10 to $15 per toner cartridge.
According to a report in Tomato Ink news “It is common knowledge that many office supplies are easy to carry off. The smaller the item, the easier it is to pocket it. It is also common knowledge that printer toner cartridges can be expensive which makes them a prime target for those employees that may be tempted to steal. The problem, of course, is the company has to spend much more money as it goes about replacing these ink cartridges. In some cases, as this one, those costs can be significant.”
What may surprise some people is that this particular theft is not unique or uncommon. Theft of toner cartridges, laser toner cartridges, ink cartridges, and other printing supplies is on the rise. One particular case that took place in 2011 involved an employee who was subsequently convicted of taking over $1.5 million of printing toner cartridges. The printer toner cartridges were taken from a hospital in New York. The man was given a seven years prison sentence. Back in 2007, a New Jersey man who worked at a stationary supply company stole an estimated 30,000 printer toner cartridges which were valued at $1.72 million. The thefts took place between 2003 and 2005. And the problem is not isolated to the United States. An Australian working in a print shop stole 23,000 toner cartridges said to be valued at an estimated $2.4 million.
“As you can see, the problem with theft of ink cartridges, laser toner cartridges, compatible ink, and printer ink cartridges can be rampant. No doubt, employers will be looking out for this from now on and many will be taking precautions to prevent it. Do not be surprised if you find that your printing supplies are stored under lock and key in the future. With thousands of dollars at risk in these printing supplies many workplaces will have no other choice but to become more proactive in their protection policies at the workplace. It should also be noted that many courts and prosecutors are taking this kind of theft more seriously and are prosecuting suspects much more harshly than they did in the past when the theft of office supplies was looked upon as a minor offense best handled inside the workplace itself.”
(Excerpt from Tomato Ink)