• United States



by John E Dunn

Microsoft Employee Gets Jail for $459,000 Fraud

Oct 27, 20112 mins
Consumer ElectronicsData and Information SecurityMicrosoft

Cites anger at company as justification for actions

A former Microsoft employee has been jailed for thirty-three months after admitting embezzling $459,000 (296,000) from the software giant, apparently as part of a bizarre revenge campaign for his alleged treatment while working there.

Robert D Curry, tasked to look after Microsoft’s distribution partners, was said to have transferred money through a shell company created by him, Blu Games, by persuading a third-party to unwittingly channel bogus invoices, Seattle press have reported.

Police believe Curry attempted to steal a further $1.3 million over a six month period from April 2010.

[Read an in-depth Anatomy of a fraud | Fraud prevention with better internal controls]

Exactly why a well-paid employee would want to rip off his company has proved harder to explain, although malice was cited in addition to the conventional explanation of greed. In a letter to the court, he claimed to have been humiliated by his boss, beyond which he offered no clear indication as to what drove an embezzlement that was quickly uncovered.

“Unfortunately, I cannot definitively say why I did what I did. For the past nine months I have been asking myself why I was so self-destructive and irrational,” he said in a court letter.

The case is the third in recent weeks in which Microsoft employees have been found guilty of stealing large sums of money from their employer.

According to prosecuting attorney Katheryn Frierson, the sheer size and perceived wealth of Microsoft could lie at the root of the issue.

“There is an unfair perception among some in the community that because of Microsoft’s size, success and wealth, the company somehow deserves to be exploited. Others believe that Microsoft invites or asks for such treatment,” she said in documents submitted to court.