Employee charged with stealing $336,000 in camera equipment

- An Olympus Corporation of the Americas employee is charged with stealing camera equipment from the Upper Saucon Township manufacturing company: $336,000 worth.

The Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office reported Richard Sasserath of Eldred Township, Northampton County, was busted after a 17-month investigation.

It said members of the Olympus internal audit team called police back in Dec. 2014 when it “discovered an ongoing theft of Olympus camera equipment by Sasserath, who was a member of the marketing team.”

But the complex investigation took more than a year. It involved getting “court orders from an internet service provider, such as eBay and PayPal.”

The affidavit of probable cause states Sasserath was supposed to be giving numerous pieces of Olympus camera equipment to people in the photography field for free, and Sasserath requested the equipment from his supervisors using company email.

However, the affidavit reads, “The audit team learned that Sasserath had altered email approvals to acquire additional camera equipment that was not used for legitimate business” and the company matched names of people with serial numbers of the stolen camera equipment.

Also, according to the affidavit, “Some of those people reported buying the equipment on eBay.” One person who sold Olympus camera equipment said he paid someone named Chrissy through PayPal. Police said Richard Sasserath’s wife, Christine Sasserath, told them “her husband had used her email, eBay and PayPal accounts and that he was selling Olympus camera equipment on eBay.”

Police say that buyer paid about $185,894 for the equipment from Nov. 2011 through April 2015.

Then, police say Sasserath told them he took equipment from Oct. 2011 to Oct. 2014, changed emails from his supervisors, and sold equipment on eBay. Police say he sold about $192,476 of camera equipment from March 2012 to April 2016.

Sasserath is charged with theft by deception and receiving stolen property.

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