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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

September 23, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Former Microsoft manager sentenced to almost three years in prison for wire fraud

Robert D. Curry, a 41-year-old Seattle man, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 33 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and $459,341.63 in restitution for wire fraud.

Curry, a former Microsoft manager in online business development, has agreed to repay the company for its losses as well as for the cost of the internal investigation of his conduct, according to a news release from the office of Jenny Durkan, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington.

Curry claims he began the fraud scheme in 2010 when he was disillusioned with Microsoft because of an abusive manager, the news release says, citing records filed in the case.

“Curry convinced one of the vendors he supervised to bill Microsoft for audio equipment he said had been purchased for X-Box 360 promotional events,” the release continues. “In fact Curry had purchased the equipment for his own use. Later, Curry used the third party vendor to bill Microsoft for downloads of Microsoft’s search engine software. The third party later discovered that the download information was fraudulent, and that the money was passing into companies controlled by Curry or his friends. Before the scheme was discovered, Curry tried to embezzle an additional $1.3 million from Microsoft. In all Curry defrauded Microsoft out of $459,341.”

Prosecutors noted this was the third time this year someone had been sentenced in the Western District of Washington for stealing from Microsoft.

On Sept. 6, 54-year-old Randal Ray Seal of Shoreline was sentenced to two years in prison, two years of supervised release and $1,065,755 in restitution for money laundering. Seal was an analyst in the accounts payable department at Microsoft who exploited features in the company’s system for paying vendors to steal more than $1 million, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

On Aug. 25, 33-year-old Manyvone Phanhsiry of Lynnwood was sentenced to four years in prison, 3 years of supervised release and $457,000 in restitution for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Phanhsiry, who worked for a company that provided relocation services to Microsoft, devised a scheme to steal money that had been allocated to pay for housing for Microsoft interns, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

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