Though many have called into question GameStop‘s handling of used game trade-ins and valuations there’s no denying the retailer is one of the top places gamers go to for video game purchases. Yes, reselling even a brand new title like Assassin’s Creed 3 will not net you full value, but conversely it’s possible to find some real gems amongst GameStop‘s used games section.
Furthermore, the company does its best to secure the best pre-order deals so that gamers who are aware can net themselves some pretty neat bonuses. For example, pre-ordering BioShock Infinite from the retailer unlocks access to an additional game, BioShock: Industrial Revolution.
Unfortunately, GameStop has come under fire this weekend, as it is reported that former GameStop VP of Corporate Communications Frank Olivera embezzled nearly $2 million from the company. On Thursday Olivera plead guilty to one count of mail fraud and could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to a representative from GameStop (who spoke with Joystiq), Olivera’s employment was terminated last year and the company has been cooperating with the federal investigation since news of Olivera’s crime broke out. Essentially, Olivera used a fictitious cooperation to funnel money from GameStop into his own personal account.
From July 2009 to April 2011, Olivera was sending payments to Cloud Communications LLC, a Nevada-based company he created, and would then transfer funds from Cloud into a personal account. As the Dallas Observer reports, GameStop initially presumed that it was Cloud’s “representative” Jennifer Miller that was guilty of funneling the cash out of the company, but eventually they turned their attentions to Olivera. In total, Olivera was able embezzle $1,965,900 from the company.
It seems like small potatoes considering the game industry is a billion dollar industry, but nonetheless Olivera’s crime(s) were pretty severe. Whether Olivera will be sentenced to the aforementioned maximum punishment will have to be determined by the courts, and we’ll keep you posted as the story develops.
What do you think of Olivera embezzling almost $2 million from GameStop? Should he face the maximum punishment?