Microsoft Ex-Employee Pleads Guilty To Theft

from the what's-an-Xbox-admin-need-with-so-much-SQL? dept

As Microsoft continues to crack down on internal employees who were reselling software they got internally for free, they’ve had

one plead guilty to the thefts. This is at least the third such employee that we’ve mentioned here caught for stealing many “millions” of dollars worth of software. In this case, the person was an administrative assistant in the Xbox group – and ordered $6 million worth of MS SQL and resold it. Of course, they don’t say how much it was actually sold for. However, you have to wonder why an admin assistant ordering $6 million worth of MS SQL didn’t trigger some sort of alarm.

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Comments on “Microsoft Ex-Employee Pleads Guilty To Theft”

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Anonymous Coward says:

MS Store

Microsoft has an employee store you can order products from (that also includes ex-employees…). Prices range from $10 to $40 for most everything. But you’re not supposed to do that.
Of course, you don’t really have to go that far since MS will sell you all of it’s business products for $99. Just go here:
Use code MHQ062

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: He Did

Why is this illegal (as in a government issue) and not just an internal MS issue? Really, if MS is going to let employees get more than a single copy of any software they sell, it is really their fault that they allowed it, or didn’t have systems in place. If their policy got out of hand, they should fire the employee and change their internal system, but I don’t see why they had to drag this into open court.

At my major brand name consumer electronics company I work at, there is also an employee website and they specifically state that they assume you will buy products for “family and friends”. Purchases are limited by the simple fact that only “overstocked” items are offered, so the offerings change almostly weekly. Could I buy something there every month and eBay it. Sure. If I were found out I am sure they would change the policy and repremand or fire me, but I don’t see it becoming an external issue if I abused it.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

Why is this a criminal prosecution and not an internal Microsoft matter? Because Grand Theft and/or Embezzling are criminal offenses in Washington state. Even at the most wildly inflated list price I can think of for one copy of SQL Server, a $6 million theft runs to several hundred copies. That’s enough SQL Server boxes to fill a truck. (Besides, MS did handle these internally. They fired the people in question before handing them over to the police.)
And this theft didn’t occur through the employee store. While the software available there is heavily discounted (about $10 per CD in the package,) there’s also an annual limit ($250 per year, last I heard) on how much one can purchase at the discounted price.
The other publicized prosecutions for theft involved managers or administrative assistants misusing the internal ordering system by which one MS group procures MS software produced by another group. In one case, the stolen copies were supposed to have been for promotional distribution, and in the other the stolen copies were supposed to have been used by product development groups.
So it wouldn’t necessarily have triggered alarms that a group admin ordered a couple dozen copies of SQL Server, if her group could plausibly have had a use for them (though it probably should have if said admin was doing so every month or two.) One wouldn’t spot this sort of thing unless one went looking for it and discovered that authorizations had been forged or an audit revealed that a large number of product discs were missing. The managers and admins who are being caught, are people who had legitimate reason to order what they were ordering.

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