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Ex-Microsoft man charged with scamming Ballmer and Co

Redmond Binged for $450,000, feds say

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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. ®

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