Former Timberwolves employee pleads guilty to stealing laptop of Sachin Gupta

A former Minnesota Timberwolves employee has pleaded guilty to charges saying he stole Executive Vice President Sachin Gupta’s laptop after being transferred due to job performance.

Somak Sarkar, of Minneapolis, has pleaded guilty to an amended count of unauthorized computer access.

The agreement calls for Sarkar to be sentenced to 364 days of confinement, but he will receive credit for time served – only spending three days in jail. Sarkar must also write a letter of apology, pay restitution and continue counseling. He will be removed from probation in one year if all requirements are followed.

According to charges, on Feb. 2, 2024, Gupta left a hard drive connected to his laptop in his office that contained both personal and professional information – the latter of which included Timberwolves employment and player contracts, as well as "strategic NBA information."

Gupta has been with the Timberwolves since 2019, when then President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas brought him aboard as executive vice president – the front office's No. 2 position. He became the interim head of basketball operations for the 2021-22 season.

Charges say that employee badge information showed that Sarkar entered the Timberwolves offices on Feb. 3, when no other employees were there. He then went into Gupta’s closed office – twice – before taking the hard drive and leaving.

On Feb. 5, Gupta returned to find the hard drive gone. Security surveillance showed Sarkar allegedly taking the device, and he was then fired.

Another employee was later able to recover the hard drive from Sarkar, according to charges.

But when team officials placed the hard drive under forensic analysis, they found that more than 5,000 files had been accessed and downloaded onto another device.

On March 18, police executed a search warrant at Sarkar’s home, where they say they found several hard drives, USBs, a computer, and three tablets – one of which contained the info from Gupta’s stolen hard drive. 

When interviewed by police, Sarkar said that he, "had the hard drive to ‘put some stuff on it’ and forgot to return it."