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MS staffer pleads guilty to $6m software racket

Third big theft uncovered

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A former Microsoft worker has been caught stealing $6 million of software from Microsoft's internal store in the third case of its type in recent months.

Kori Robin Brown, 31, a former administrative assistant In Microsoft's Xbox video console and games division, "ordered more than $6 million worth of Microsoft's SQL Server database software and sold it for personal gain between 1998 and 2000", according to a statement by the US Attorney's office quoted by Reuters.

Brown has pleaded guilty to theft. She faces up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for mail fraud at a sentencing hearing scheduled for October 3.

Her crime came to light during a wider investigation into another black-market software racket organised from Microsoft's own Redmond campus.

This investigation began last December when MS worker, Daniel Feussner, was charged with stealing $9 million in software, which he allegedly used to fund a lavish lifestyle, including buying a private yacht and a Ferrari. Feussner, a 32-old programmer, died in February after he swallowed anti-freeze.

Last month, Windows project co-ordinator Richard Gregg was arrested and charged for allegedly stealing software packages with an estimated value of more than $17 million.

Microsoft has introduced tougher internal procedures which mean workers need management approval before ordering software. ®

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