Van Gogh Museum Fires Employees for Embezzling During Pokemon Collaboration, New Details Emerge

Dutch newspaper Het Parool has learned that at least four employees of the Van Gogh Museum were fired last month due to embezzling during October’s Pokemon collaboration.

The museum did not want to say how many employees were involved, but Het Parool reports at least four were terminated, including security guards, cashiers, and even a member of the cloakroom staff. One employee had worked at the museum for 25 years.

In a statement to the newspaper, the Van Gogh Museum confirmed “some employees from operational services” did not adhere to the “procedures and code of conduct” expected of staff. However, the museum only regarded this as “an [isolated] incident.”

The newspaper learned one fired employee embezzled a box of Pikachu promo cards.

Other employees gave insider information to scalpers so they would know when the Pokemon x Van Gogh merchandise would be in stock (the newspaper mistakenly reports this as when the cards would be in stock). The museum would stock the merchandise at random times to give visitors a chance to buy it, meaning insider information allowed scalpers to purchase their admission tickets at exactly the right times.

However, our own reporting indicates the problems were more severe.

According to an “honest” scalper I interviewed, “There were at least two employees who stole boxes of the Pikachu cards. One stole a small box. Another stole a master case. I bet there was even more.”

He also revealed the employees were embezzling the Pokemon paintings before customers could buy them. “I have receipts showing employees were purchasing the paintings early. Here’s one at 8:43 AM. The museum opens at 9:00 AM.”

He went on to admit, “I was one of the scalpers outside the museum. We were offering employees money for information. When you make minimum wage, some will fold.”

“[The employees] signaled or messaged us like ‘you can pick up [the paintings] at this hour.’ The paintings were pulled out of the back and placed on the shelves for us.”

In regards to how the scalpers worked, he explained, “There was always a line of people outside the museum waiting to buy the promos and merchandise. A lot of [foreigners] and kids were going in like 5, 10, 20 times a day. Kids could get in for free. So they would sell the promo to us for 30-70 euros and go back in for free and get us more promos. I went in 30-50 times to get the cards myself.”

When asked about the museum’s overall knowledge of the scalping, he stated to PokeBeach, “I think the museum tried to cover their ass with a cheap excuse that it’s just the little employees who did it. The higher ups knew what was going on. More employees were involved.”

The museum ultimately ended the card promotion when there was a robbery outside the building. According to our source, two scalpers were robbed “by a bunch of 16 year olds on bikes.”

Earlier this month we revealed the Pikachu promo will be given away at stores in the Netherlands in February. However, our reporting indicates the cards are already being pre-scalped by said stores.

As we’ve repeatedly seen since the pandemic, Pokemon cards seem to tempt the worst in people.

Jdbeardsmith

Aspiring Trainer
Member
The pre-purchase receipt from like 20 minutes early is so innocuous- every store I’ve worked at I have made purchases before and after operating store hours because you have to help customers when the store is open. If the register is up and it works that doesn’t even seem like an issue- But obviously more than 4 people would have knowledge or participation of the INSANITY that was happening with maybe the worst implementation of a promotion in modern times.
 

Clear

Birb is the Word
Member
> As we’ve repeatedly seen since the pandemic, Pokemon cards seem to tempt the worst in people.
No, it's just that people are terrible to begin with.
Should have seen it coming since we as a society start to let thieves have human rights.
 

Yaginku

Spiring Rainer
Member
I actually won't blame TPCi for hyping this event too much, especially these limited items available only in the museum. Instead, I will blame them for the absolutely awful organization of the event. Either someone in the communication chain was blissfully unaware of the consequences, or they maliciously omitted giving critical information to profit on the chaos.
 

Owbione

You guess it, a nerd
Member
I went to Amsterdam and whilst I was their the ticket booking was already booked for a month after the first 5 minutes.
 

Shishigami

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Those soyboys who fired them would have done the same temptation if they thought of it. I wonder if any of them were even Dutch. It's okay when outsiders did it 50 times a day but it's bad when an employee tries there luck at having a go minutes before opening.. Garbage card anyway, and such a huge, high IQ missed oppertunity in not having all of the made art be made as cards.
 

porschedesign

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Those soyboys who fired them would have done the same temptation if they thought of it. I wonder if any of them were even Dutch. It's okay when outsiders did it 50 times a day but it's bad when an employee tries there luck at having a go minutes before opening.. Garbage card anyway, and such a huge, high IQ missed oppertunity in not having all of the made art be made as cards.
They were already getting a free employee painting for employees only. And getting the card already. Some employees multiple.
 

MarlinRimes

PirateAhoyMF
Member
Feel kinda bad for the employees who got fired. It wasn’t exactly right but it’s the grind. I mean like they were trying to get more dough. Who couldn’t understand needing more money?
 

Porygonbail

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Feel kinda bad for the employees who got fired. It wasn’t exactly right but it’s the grind. I mean like they were trying to get more dough. Who couldn’t understand needing more money?
Ikr? I dont blame them for trying to earn early christmas money. The gap between wages and living money is sizeable in this part of europe (I live 30 minutes from the border and have family there).
It must have hurt especially hard to be that 25 year long employee. And I cant help but feel that it was all just scapegoating. Sacrifice a few small fries (and admittedly one bigger nugget), so nobody asks questions anymore.

This promotion was a mess. But that is not the fault of four workers. The fault here falls on many sides.
 

Nintenfreak

Aspiring Trainer
Member
TPCi actively encourages this kind of behavior. If they printed enough promos to curb the demand, scalpers would have nothing.
They are normally very good about this with actual sets and cards in them, but for some dumb reason when it comes to promos they have no fudging clue how to access and meet demand.