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Lawyer under fire

Posted by: Laurence Simons 25/04/13

One of the small perks of working under the deathless fluorescent strip-lights of modern offices is that you'll never run out of printer paper, Bics, or notepads. No matter how much you're getting paid, it's still OK to grab the odd book of Post-Its from the stationary cupboard to take home and write passive aggressive fridge-notes on.

Most people would agree with this, but there is a problem with this laissez-faire policy - there's always one joker who has to take it too far and ruin it for the rest of us.

A 39-year-old man, Adrian Rodriguez, proved to be this guy when working for Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson LLP in New York, reports CCP News. Not content with picking up the odd pencil sharpener here and there, Mr Rodriguez ordered hundreds of thousands of dollars of toner from vendors between 2010 and 2012 and sold them on for a premium - creating a major black market in office supplies.

While this does sound like the least exciting, most banal black market of all time, the figures involved are not insignificant - the defendant is believed to have made just under $400,000 over the two-year period, suggesting that selling knock-off stationary is considerably more lucrative than you might expect.

According to the New York Times, Mr Rodriguez held a low-level position at the duplication room of the law firm and is scheduled to be sentenced for second-degree grand larceny on May 21. On the bright side, he probably has plenty of pens to take notes with during the judge's summary of his crimes against stationary.