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Ex-Timberwolves employee reportedly arrested for allegedly stealing hard drive from team's head of analytics

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 17: The Minnesota Timberwolves logo is pictured on a uniform during the game against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on January 17, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
The Timberwolves have an odd scandal on their hands. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) (Nic Antaya via Getty Images)

A former Minnesota Timberwolves employee has been arrested for stealing and copying a hard drive from the team's head of analytics, according to The Star Tribune.

Somak Sarkar was reportedly charged with felony third-degree burglary on Monday in Hennepin County District Court and remains jailed in lieu of $40,000 bail ahead of a Thursday court appearance.

The hard drive reportedly belonged to Timberwolves executive vice president of basketball operations Sachin Gupta, who once served as the team's interim president of basketball operations. Gupta recovered the drive a little more than a week later, but a forensic analysis found that roughly 5,700 files had been copied.

Those files apparently include important information such as player contracts, Timberwolves strategic plans, Gupta's tax returns and the contents of a password management app. That might be an issue for Minnesota if Sarkar were to have distributed those files anywhere.

Sarkar reportedly claimed to police after his arrest that he had Gupta's hard drive, which a search found in his apartment, to "put some stuff on it," but forgot to return it. Gupta reportedly told police Sarkar worked under him in analytics, but was transferred after "butting heads" with him, with claims of incorrect computer coding and missed meetings.

Sarkar was reportedly captured on security video entering Gupta's office, exiting to look around and reentering on Feb. 3, a day after Gupta left the hard drive on his desk. Gupta allegedly noticed the drive was missing Feb. 5.

On Feb. 9, Sarkar was reportedly fired and escorted by security out of the building.

This isn't the first time a sports team has experienced an intrusion into its most important files. Former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa received a 46-month prison sentence for hacking the Houston Astros' Ground Control database.

The news comes during a trying month for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who had spent much of the season in first place in the Western Conference. The team lost star Karl-Anthony Towns to a torn meniscus earlier this month and has gone 3-3 in the games since.