Ex-Timberwolves analyst admits stealing hard drive with sensitive data from team executive

Published 5:04 pm Thursday, June 27, 2024

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MINNEAPOLIS — The since-fired Minnesota Timberwolves staffer accused of burglary has admitted to stealing a hard drive with proprietary and sensitive information from a team executive.

Somak Sarkar pled guilty to a gross misdemeanor count of unauthorized computer access in Hennepin County District Court on Wednesday. He was originally charged with third degree felony burglary after his arrest on March 19. Sarkar has a sentencing hearing scheduled for July 9.

Timberwolves executive vice president of basketball operations Sachin Gupta was the victim of the theft. Sarkar had been transferred to an analytics role supporting the coaching staff before he sneaked into Gupta’s office and took the hard drive on Feb. 3.

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According to the criminal complaint, the device contained personal financial information as well as business-related data that belongs to the Timberwolves, such as player contracts and strategic NBA information. The Timberwolves, through another employee, recovered the hard drive and through outside analysis from a computer forensic company determined more than 5,000 files were accessed and downloaded onto another device.

Gupta has been with the Timberwolves for five years, after front office jobs with Detroit, Houston and Philadelphia. The graduate of MIT also previously worked at ESPN on analytics and developed the popular NBA Trade Machine fixture for the network’s website.

Gupta oversaw Minnesota’s basketball operations during the 2021-22 season, after the firing of Gersson Rosas and before the hiring of Tim Connelly.