A former MIT student arrested by MIT Police last spring pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud in U.S. District Court in Boston on Oct. 28 in connection with the theft of computers and other equipment from the Institute.
Mark L. Strauss, 24, of Mesa, Ariz., faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. He also must pay restitution to MIT for the computers, laboratory equipment and other stolen items. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 2.
The U.S. Attorney's office said Strauss admitted to MIT Police that he had stolen the items from various MIT locations over an 18-month period and advertised them on eBay.
Strauss, a member of the Class of 2002, was arrested after striking a deal in March to sell a computer stolen from the Department of Chemistry to MIT Police, who discovered it for sale on eBay. Strauss, who was not registered for the spring term, now attends Arizona State University.
After making the arrest, MIT Police obtained a search warrant for his fraternity room and seized $30,000 to $40,000 worth of computers and computer equipment.