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Ex-Harvard Employee Pleads Guilty To Stealing $80,000 From University For DVDs, Apple Products, LEGOs

WOBURN (CBS) -- A Waltham man pleaded guilty today in Middlesex Superior Court to using a Harvard University employee credit card to pay for $80,000 in personal purchases while employed by the institution.

Shawn Bunn, 45, pleaded guilty to charges of larceny, false entry in corporate books, and uttering of forged documents. He was sentenced to two years in the House of Correction with three months to serve, to be followed by ten years of probation. He was also ordered to pay back $80,000 to the university in restitution.

Bunn worked in a computer lab, where the 17-year employee was issued a credit card to make work-related purchases. He was required to submit a receipt for all purchases over $75, the Middlesex District Attorney's Office said, and to explain the nature and applicability of each of the purchases.

Instead, Bunn used the card for personal purchases. The Middlesex DA's office said he bought multiple Apple products for his own personal use, and billed them to Harvard.

A review by the university found hundreds of unauthorized purchases on Bunn's Harvard credit card over a four-year period. These purchases included approximately 200 DVDs and 100 CDs, Amazon gift cards, seven Nintendo Wii controllers, a grand piano bench, and a Dr. Who Tardis cookie jar.

When police executed a search warrant on Bunn's home, they found many of the items purchased on the card, including televisions, iPads, a table saw, a compost tumbler, and Star Wars-themed LEGO sets.

He was charged in September 2015.

"For four years the defendant used Harvard University funds for his own purposes," said Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan. "Instead of university funds enriching the educational experience of Harvard students, as intended, the defendant chose to make personal purchases totaling $80,000."

Harvard University Police and the Middlesex DA's office investigated the incident.

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