This certainly isn't a condemnation of the USPTO itself, but apparently a financial analyst within the PTO worked with a minister to steal more than $500,000
. The minister has plead guilty, but the PTO employee is still just under investigation:
One of the patent employee's tasks was to process requests for funds from customers who had completed the application process, documents said. In his guilty plea, Reid said the patent office employee identified accounts that had gone dormant. She then changed the name on the accounts to Redeemed Music House and wired the cash to the company's bank account.
Court documents show that the patent worker stole a total of $534,338 over 32 transfers, 27 of which were to Reid. It is unclear from documents where the other $80,000 went.
This is obviously a scam by a corrupt employee, but a couple folks submitted it, noting that with so much interest in the USPTO around these parts, some folks might be interested. It's certainly not a condemnation of the USPTO (it does plenty of things officially for that), as it's pretty clearly a bad employee scamming money.