Authorities have charged 44-year-old Christopher Brock of Yukon, Okla., with wire fraud.
U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in New Jersey says Brock engaged in an elaborate scheme when he was employed as a salesman at John Wiley & Sons in Hoboken.
Fishman says Brock diverted more than 16,000 free samples meant for college professors to himself and then resold them.
Authorities say the money was spent on personal items, including diving equipment and high-end furnishings.
Brock was arrested in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday.