Microsoft Contractor Gets 4 Years for Scam

      SEATTLE (CN) – A former Microsoft contractor was sentenced to 4 years in prison for stealing $457,000 from intern housing funds and using the money to pay for luxury cars, trips to Las Vegas, plastic surgery and her own wedding, federal prosecutors said.
     Manyvone Phanhsiry was in charge of ordering and distributing debit cards to Microsoft interns, who could use them to pay for housing during their internship. Phanhsiry ordered 150 cards sent to her home and used interns’ identities to withdraw $457,000 over 2 years, according to charging documents.
     “Beginning in or about August 2007, and continuing until in or about June 2009, in Bellevue, within the Western District of Washington and elsewhere, Manyvone Phanhsiry devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud Microsoft and obtain money and credits by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises,” according to the indictment.
     “The essence of the scheme and artifice was that Manyvone Phanhsiry, while employed at Cartus Corporation, requested and processed applications for unauthorized debit cards from U.S. Bank, which were funded with Microsoft funds, in the name of Microsoft interns who were not entitled to the funds. When she received the debit cards in the interns’ names, she withdrew the funds at various ATM machines, thereby fraudulently depriving Microsoft of approximately $457,000.”
     Microsoft learned of the scheme when a former intern contacted it about a tax form he received for a debit card account he never had used.
     Cartus fired Phanhsiry and repaid the money to Microsoft after an investigation.
     Phanhsiry pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft and agreed to forfeit a Lexus and Mercedes and any other property she obtained as a result of the theft.
     U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly sentenced her to 4 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release and $457,000 in restitution, finding she had engaged in a “pattern of repeated theft and deception.”

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