Ex-Microsoft man charged with scamming Ballmer and Co
Redmond Binged for $450,000, feds say
A Microsoft staffer has been charged with stealing $450,000 from the company.
According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Robert Curry, formerly a business development director at the company, has been charged with three counts of wire fraud in the US District Court of Seattle.
As part of Microsoft's Strategic Partnership Team, Curry was in a position to issue invoices to contractors. One of these, Pentad Solutions, provided temporary staff to Curry's group.
As part of his scam, the FBI alleges, Curry played the old fake-invoice game. During 2010, Pentad was asked to pay what Curry said were Microsoft invoices for A/V equipment, on the basis that it could raise the payment more quickly than Redmond's internal systems. It would then be reimbursed by Microsoft.
When Pentad's invoice was presented to Microsoft, it believed the payment was for the company's normal staffing services.
Later, Curry is alleged to have conceived another scam process. He appointed Pentad to manage purported Bing toolbar distribution partners Blu Games and Resolution Audio. Pentad was asked to make payments to these partners, for which it would be reimbursed and also paid a management fee, with the three invoices totaling close to $300,000. By the end of 2010, payments under the new scam were close to $460,000.
Neither Blu Games nor Resolution Audio were Bing toolbar partners, and Microsoft called in the FBI earlier this year after twigging to the scam. ®
@Magnus - WHAT??!
Well, its true that MS delaying payments made this scam possible / believable to the supplier. However, the money earned, even at today's pathetic interest rates, on an extra month or two of payment delay on the billions a company like MS spends each year, is huge. Far more than the potential losses on these types of scams or whatever they spend on internal compliance checks to catch this type of fraud. Its also a handy way of weeding out bad employees, I suppose :)
First law of fraud - avoid audit trails.
He asked a supplier to pay a third party's invoice for him for which they would later be reimbursed? Lending money to pay outstanding debts is the job of a bank not a supplier. They should have twigged straight away.
The excuse that Microsoft takes a long time to get money out is so typical of big businesses run by accountants. Simply not paying invoices on time may temporarily increase the cash flow but the creative accounting required to actually make the company work lays them open to all kinds of scams $450,000 dollars for f**k's sake. Ballmer is the money man, The blame rests with him.