Maple Grove man charged with theft of computers

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office has investigated a case involving a 42-year-old Maple Grove man who stole computers and computer components from the 4th Judicial District Court.

Saleem Abdul Ghani, 42, of Maple Grove was an IT employee with District Court when he allegedly stole computer equipment from his workplace valued at $93,407.03. Ghani has been formally charged with four counts of felony theft.

The theft was initially discovered during an asset inventory during this past summer of court computer equipment.

According to the criminal complaint, Brandon Randolph, the District Court’s Network Services manager, “discovered that many computer components purchased by District Court were missing” during the inventorying.

The complaint went on to state, “Randolph reported that [Ghani] repeatedly tried to discourage him from pursuing this inventory of District Court computer assets. [Ghani] said that an accurate inventory would be futile. [Ghani] suggested several misleading or outright false theories to try to explain what had happened to the missing District Court computer equipment.”

A total of 112 components were stolen from District Court and the items included a laptop, printer, software, memory, servers, keyboards, switches, and phones.

The complaint said stolen items were a banker’s box under Ghani’s desk known as “Saleem’s secret stash” and at his home in Maple Grove.

Ghani has been charged with four counts. The first is theft by swindle, which has a penalty of up to 20 years and a $100,000 fine if convicted. The second, third and fourth counts are theft over $5,000, which each has a penalty of up to 10 years and a $20,000 fine.

— Compiled by Alicia Miller