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Ex-Microsoft accountant jailed for $1.1m Redmond theft

Stole to 'expose flaws in system'

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A former Microsoft accountant has been sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to repay over a million dollars after pleading guilty to theft and money laundering.

Randal Ray Seal stole the money from Microsoft after working in the company’s accounting department for nearly a decade. He said the thefts were initially carried out to highlight a flaw in the company’s accounting systems, but his bosses ignored the problem when he informed them, the Seattle P-I reports.

However, after Seal was laid off in 2004, he took the money, and it was only in 2009 that the authorities caught up with him. In addition to two years in prison, Seal will have to pay back around $1.1m to Redmond's coffers.

“I made the poor decision of revealing the defects by exploiting the flaws in the department’s system,” Seal told the court.

“When I was terminated I had not thoroughly thought out how I would divulge my actions. In the end, instead of doing what was right and returning the money, I succumbed to my behavior was totally inappropriate.”

Seal originally offered to pay back half the money, but US District Court Judge James Robart ruled that the full amount had to be returned. His defense attorney said that Seal had pleaded guilty and felt remorse that he would never be able to work at Microsoft again.

“Randy has agonized over his actions and been unable to see any kind of future for himself,” he said in court documents.

“In fact he was almost relieved that he was finally able to tell the truth about what he had done, especially to his wife.” ®

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