An employee of Microsoft allegedly tried to steal more than $1.5 million through the creation of fraudulent invoices and unauthorized use of the company’s assets, and now faces up to 20 years in prison.
According to the Department of Justice, Jeff Tran, who worked as the Director of Sports Marketing and Alliances at Microsoft, was in charge of the distribution of Super Bowl tickets within the company. While Tran was supposed to distribute blocks of tickets to two managers, he shipped them to a ticket broker in New Jersey. A DOJ press release states that Tran sold over 60 of the tickets through the ticket broker and allegedly kept more than $200,000 for himself.
Additionally, Tran charged a Microsoft employee $12,400 for several tickets, and although he said he paid for the tickets himself, Microsoft purchased the tickets. He also caused a fraudulent $775,000 invoice to be issued to Microsoft, with services related to last year’s Super Bowl, the DOJ said.
“When Microsoft vendors became suspicious of Tran’s activity and reported the conduct to Microsoft, Tran destroyed electronic communications and told the vendors to lie to Microsoft about the $775,000 payment,” the DOJ said in the release. “After Microsoft confronted Tran, Tran returned the $775,000.”
An NFL spokesperson told Yahoo Sports that immediately after learning of this situation, they put “internal safeguards in place to prevent this type of situation from happening again.”
“When we learned of Mr. Tran’s conduct we investigated, terminated his employment, and then referred the matter to law enforcement,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.
Earlier this week, Tran was indicted on five counts of wire fraud. When he was confronted by Microsoft investigators, he said he had been hacked. Tran is due to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Seattle within the next 10 days.