• United States



by Paul Kerstein

Microsoft Worker Gets Four Years for Software Theft

Nov 22, 20052 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

A former Microsoft Corp. employee was sentenced to four years in prisonFriday for illegally selling the company’s software, netting him US$2.3million, court documents show.

Finn W. Contini, who worked for the company from September 1999 toFebruary 2002, pleaded guilty in January to one count of conspiracy tocommit mail fraud and four counts of money laundering. He was alsoordered by the U.S. District Court in Seattle to pay $7.1 million inrestitution to Microsoft.

Prosecutors said Contini had access to the Microsoft Internal ProductOrdering Program, which allowed employees access to an unlimited amountof software and hardware at no cost for internal use. Continiredirected e-mails that would have alerted his supervisors to the orderto two accomplices who also worked for Microsoft, according to thecourt documents.

Three other former Microsoft employees were sentenced earlier this yearfor their part in the crime. Robert A. Howdeshell, indicted on the samecharges as Contini, was sentenced to two years and three months in jailin August and ordered to pay $3.3 million restitution.

Alyson Clark and Christine Hendrickson, both charged with mail fraud,received five month prison terms plus five months of home confinement.

Contini received at least 2,692 pieces of software valued at $7.1million. As part of the plea agreement, Contini forfeited fourproperties, a 2003 Toyota Highlander, 2002 Honda Civic along with goldand silver coins, bar and nuggets, according to documents.

By Jeremy Kirk – IDG News Service (London Bureau)