Microsoft sues former employee over $460,000 fraud

Microsoft has sued a former director of business development in state court, accusing him of stealing nearly $460,000 from the company and trying to make off with another $1.5 million before his scheme was uncovered.

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Microsoft has sued a former director of business development in state court, accusing him of stealing nearly $460,000 from the company and trying to make off with another $1.5 million before his scheme was uncovered.

In a complaint filed with a Washington State Superior Court, Microsoft alleged that Robert D. Curry created a fake company, Blu Games, then submitted bogus invoices for non-existent services.

As a director of business development, Curry dealt with companies that promoted the downloading of Bing Bar, an Internet Explorer (IE) toolbar add-on designed to boost the use of Microsoft's search engine. Curry started working for Microsoft five years ago.

"On at least 3 occasions between April 19, 2010 and November 22, 2010, defendant Robert D. Curry... fraudulently induced Microsoft to pay through a vendor approximately $459,341.63 for defendant Curry's benefit, while falsely representing that the payments were for legitimate Microsoft business expenses," the complaint states.

Curry siphoned money and goods from his employer by duping a legitimate Microsoft vendor, Pentad Solutions, into paying Blu Games for supposedly distributing the Bing Bar, then asking Microsoft for reimbursement. To back up the scheme, Curry created fake invoices, distribution agreements and reports, and also forged his manager's signature, Microsoft claimed.

Although he successfully stole almost half a million dollars from Microsoft, Curry's activity was only discovered two weeks ago, when he tried to get Pentad to pay Blu Games $1.5 million for distributing the Bing Bar.

Earlier, he had convinced Microsoft's finance department to increase the total amount of the purchase order pool for payments to Pentad to $3.7 million.

Microsoft has demanded that Curry repay the $459,000, and that it be awarded triple damages under the state's Criminal Profiteering Act.

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