What just happened? Former Microsoft executive Jeff Tran has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly committing "wire fraud." The allegations claim Tran attempted to steal roughly $1.4 million from the company directly, while also swiping and selling $200,000 worth of Microsoft-owned Super Bowl tickets.
It isn't just Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford that's been the target of employee embezzlement. Microsoft has run into similar problems now, according to a press release published by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday.
According to the release, a former Microsoft employee has been indicted for "five counts" of wire fraud. If you're wondering why this is such a big deal despite the relatively small amount of money stolen (compared to Microsoft's total revenue), the employee in question is former Microsoft executive Jeff Tran.
Tran used to serve as the software giant's Director of Sports Marketing and Alliances. According to the DOJ, Tran abused his high-ranking position to create and submit "fraudulent invoices," while using "other" Microsoft assets for unauthorized purposes (more on that later).
Tran allegedly bounced a $775,000 payment through two different Microsoft vendors before sending the cash to his own bank account. According to reports, he tried to do something similar with a second payment of $670,000 - that time, however, he decided to send the money to a company he owned.
Tran allegedly bounced a $775,000 payment through two different Microsoft vendors before sending the cash to his own bank account.
As you can imagine, the vendors Tran used became suspicious about these payments and went straight to Microsoft with their concerns. The DOJ says Tran "destroyed electronic communications" shortly after he caught wind of this, while also instructing the vendors in question to lie to Microsoft about their findings. After being caught red-handed by his employer, Tran reportedly returned the first payment of $775,000.
The allegations against Tran don't stop there. According to the DOJ, he may have also stolen Super Bowl tickets from Microsoft, later selling them for a tidy profit of $200,000.
It bears repeating that these are allegations, and not proven fact. While the case has been investigated thoroughly by US officials, Tran's guilt has not yet been determined in a court of law. However, we'll certainly be keeping our eye on this case as it develops, and we'll let you know if any further developments occur.