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New Jersey sysadmin gets 5 years for Cisco scam

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A former sysadmin who pocketed several million dollars by scamming Cisco's part replacement program has been sentenced to five years in prison by a federal court in New Jersey.

Michael Kyereme was a network troubleshooter for the city of Newark between 2002 and 2007, where he was authorized to buy replacement parts from Cisco.

The 41-year-old was arrested and later admitted to falsely ordering replacements for faulty networking gear, and requesting swaps for gear that was more expensive than what the city actually owned. He then resold the merchandise in California and kept the profit.

Prosecutors say that Kyereme had requested 280 items from Cisco's replacement service, with some of the premium networking gear retailing for upwards of $25,000. He allegedly only returned parts to Cisco 132 times — and only 33 items actually matched the replacement part he received.

The scam defrauded Cisco of nearly $4.2m, according to prosecutors.

When the FBI nabbed Kyereme in 2007, he had nearly $3m in Cisco components stashed in his home and car.

In July, Kyereme pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion. ®

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