Ex-Microsoft manager jailed for $1m fraud

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An ex-Microsoft programme manager who pleaded guilty in January to embezzling around US$1m has been sentenced to 22 months in jail for defrauding her employer.

Carolyn Gudmundson, a Microsoft employee from 1987 to 2004, became a programme manager at MSN in 2000, where she was responsible for acquiring, registering and renewing internet domain names.

In that role she conned Microsoft out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a variety of scams.

These included overstating her expenses and submitting invoices payable to herself for domain-name registrations that had already been paid through an arrangement between Microsoft and Expedia.

In another scam she asked Microsoft to reimburse a company for domain names she claimed had been bought on Microsoft's behalf, many of which Microsoft already owned.

She then pocketed the money by having the cheques sent to her mother's address.

The US attorney agreed to drop 17 other counts of fraud as part of the plea bargain, but ruled that the 44 year-old mother of two will have to repay Microsoft some US$923,000 in restitution.

"Other employees who have similar opportunities to place their hands in the corporate till need to understand that society takes this sort of crime very seriously," said US District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez at her sentencing.
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