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Prison suicide watch for ex Cisco exec

Multi-million dollar fraud case

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A former Cisco executive has been placed on suicide watch in a federal prison after attempting to kill himself while on the run from multi-million dollar fraud charges.

Robert S. Gordon, 43, a former vice president and director of business development at Cisco, was indicted by a federal grand jury last May on two counts of wire fraud, and one charge of planning to illegally move Cisco-owned stock into an offshore account he controlled in the Bahamas.

He was released on bail but failed to appear in court last month, prompting the FBI to issue a warrant for his arrest and the authorities to seize a $5 million bond he posted last year.

US Attorney spokesman Matt Jacobs told AFX that Gordon was arrested at a Santa Barbara hospital last month after a failed suicide attempt. On Wednesday, a federal magistrate ordered that he be remanded in custody pending further proceedings.

Gordon is charged with an elaborate series of frauds through which he attempted to steal an estimated $20 million from Cisco.

In one deal, Gordon is accused of persuading Cisco to invest $15 million in an affiliated start-up company, called Spanlink, so he could siphon off $5 million through an elaborate set of stock and money transfers.

Cisco fired Gordon in April 2001, after an internal investigation.

At a hearing last year, he pleaded not guilty to the charges. ®

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