Brazen Scams By Engineers Uncovered

from the nice-work-if-you-can-get-it dept

Two separate stories of two different fairly amazing scams by engineers have come out recently. The first one is the more incredible one, and it involves a guy named William Grayson Hunter, who apparently secretly had two separate full time jobs at two different companies, but barely spent much time at either, instead “spending his days at bars, amusement parks and movie theaters,” but sent in time cards, including some that billed for more than 24-hours a day. One of his two full-time employers, Aerospace Corp., just agreed to pay the government $2.5 million after it was investigating Hunter’s work that was billed to the government at a premium. Of course, there’s no punishment for Hunter, who died in 2010.

The other story is a bit more conventional. A network engineer at Verizon Wireless repeatedly used the company’s warranty contracts with Cisco to order replacements parts that weren’t needed, and then sold them off and kept the money — which apparently added up to $4.5 million. Like Hunter above, Michael Baxter had interests outside of work:

[Baxter] spent the proceeds on jewelry, cars, international travel and multiple cosmetic surgeries for his girlfriend, prosecutors said.

Apparently, controls and audits on such things have gone out of style.

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Comments on “Brazen Scams By Engineers Uncovered”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Too much credit

It’s difficult to verify on-duty hours of staffs in outsourcing firm, especially if the firm is known to offload works of different locations to the same staff.

I worked for such kind of firm once and there are legitimate cases where I have to switch hour slots allocated to one location to another without timingly notifying my immediate supervisor. (For a record, I worked for organizations at 3 locations at the same period)

Old Fool (profile) says:

Many years ago I met a man who boasted he had bought his house and a yacht from stolen computer parts.

He was an engineer and was sent out to repair computers, he would declare the main board defunct, order a new one, fix the minor problem and sell the part. He was never caught.

Although did I hear he is in now in darkest Peru hiding from the tax man…

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Now you see why anyone with brains sends out us technician/trades/crafts type people. We do it right the first time, check the engineer and make sure the parts are all still there if we got there second 🙂

Then call up the engineer and ask why there’s a Cisco router here with no parts in it and the customer is out of service and he has 10 minutes to replace what he nicked 🙂

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Sounds like a lot of failure on the part of the employers

In addition to submitting fraudulent time cards, Hunter falsely claimed to hold a doctorate from Oxford University in England when he had only a high school education, Daniels said.

Apparently a very poor job at background checks.

“This person was hired before we had sophisticated methods to verify international degrees.”

Oh, come on. This was 2003, not 1960. How difficult is it to pick up a phone and call 411 for the phone number for admissions and records at Oxford. Or go to their website (which existed in 2003) and grab the number there. Someone got lazy and now they are paying 2.5 million for it.

When I changed jobs in 1999, my employer, during a background check, managed to contact a manager for a company I worked for 7 years before had that went out of business between the time I left and the time I got hired by the company that did the background check. The manager had been laid off, yet somehow they miraculously found him. I find it hard to believe that in 2003 it was too difficult to verify whether a person received a Doctor’s Degree from a prestigious college in England — its not like Oxford gives out millions of Doctor’s Degrees.

Anonymous Coward says:

Talking about scams the Universal DMCA scam against the fat bastard from Megaupload is heating up with Megaupload lodging the contract that proves it secured the rights for every and each one of the stars in it and having Universal make artists that didn’t even were in the video file DMCA’s against the video LoL

Oh, this story will be good, someone pass me the popcorn.

ChrisB (profile) says:

Engineer vs. "Engineer"

Being a “real” engineer, I get annoyed when the term is conflated with technical workers. Mechanical / Chemical / Aerospace / Nuclear / Petroleum / Civil / Computer engineers need to get a 4 year degree (B.Sc.) A “network” or a “software” engineer may have taken a few courses through a website, for all I know. In Canada, at least, only people who have an appropriate degree can call themselves an “engineer”. Also, all engineers must take ethics exams and can be barred from practicing engineering (by their provincial association) if they breach these ethics.

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