They say spending too much time in front of the screen can drive you mad, but a rare few are actually crazy enough to, say, wire money from their employer’s bank account into their own personal funds. Well, that’s exactly what a Washington man named Ermenildo Valdez Castro did, in a scheme apparently inspired by the 1999 comedy Office Space.
For the uninitiated: Before there was The Office, there was Mike Judge’s Office Space, in which Ron Livingston, Ajay Naidu, and David Herman play a trio of disgruntled workplace buddies. They attempt to assuage their boredom by rigging their tech company’s accounting system with a virus that funnels money into each of their bank accounts penny by penny — an idea they also pulled from a film, Superman III.
We won’t spoil the ending of Office Space for you, but in real life, Castro got caught with a laundry list of financial offenses at the expense of his employer Zulily (via Seattle Times): Over the course of 11 months, the malware he created diverted shipping fees from over 30,000 transactions into a personal account, and tweaked the price of Zulily products so Castro could buy $41,000 worth of stuff for only $250.
In total, Castro — who, in case it wasn’t obvious, is now fired — is accused of stealing more than $300,000 from Zulily, the dollar amount that nearly got the Office Space crew busted. And as if his source material wasn’t already evident, Castro later confirmed that he got the idea from the film, after police found a folder on his work computer titled “Office Space project” where he’d outlined the scam. His arraignment is scheduled for January 26th which, thank goodness, isn’t a Monday. But it could still be the worst day of his life.
So, if you could revisit the Office Space installment of Consequence’s Fan Theory series, that’d be greeeeaaaat.