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.
Comments on “Microsoft Ex-Employee Pleads Guilty To Theft”
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
‘However, you have to wonder why an admin assistant ordering $6 million worth of MS SQL didn’t trigger some sort of alarm. ‘ It did set off an alarm, that is how he got caught.
Re: He Did
I think the issue is that $6 million of software is probably something like $2000 at the MS store, so it was not seen as a big deal, esp. when it was spread over 5 years….
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.
Re: He Did
It did set off an alarm, that is how he got caught.
Not at the time it didn’t. She only got caught after MS realized they were having a problem, and went back and tracked her down.
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.
No Subject Given
either way you look at it, microsoft is becoming to much of a monopoly and they’re software has some of the biggest bugs to date….spend this money on fixing your products instead of court costs and stop complaining about the money you never had. Bill Gates got lucky….