News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Former Microsoft Manager Sentenced to Prison for Embezzlement Scheme

Used Unwitting Third Party Vendor to Steal More than 400K

September 23, 2011

            ROBERT D. CURRY, 41, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 33 months in prison, 3 years of supervised release, and $459,341.63 in restitution for wire fraud.  CURRY, a former management employee of Microsoft has agreed to repay the company for its losses as well as for the cost of the internal investigation of his criminal conduct.  At sentencing today Chief U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman noted that the public has grown increasingly outraged over those who lie to line their own pockets.

            According to records filed in the case, CURRY worked as a manager in the on-line business development area of Microsoft.  A highly regarded and well-paid professional, with an MBA from Yale, CURRY claims he began the fraud scheme in 2010 when he was disillusioned with Microsoft because of an abusive manager.  CURRY convinced one of the vendors he supervised to bill Microsoft for audio equipment he said had been purchased for X-Box 360 promotional events.  In fact CURRY had purchased the equipment for his own use.  Later, CURRY used the third party vendor to bill Microsoft for downloads of Microsoft’s search engine software.  The third party later discovered that the download information was fraudulent, and that the money was passing into companies controlled by CURRY or his friends.  Before the scheme was discovered, CURRY tried to embezzle an additional $1.3 million from Microsoft.  In all CURRY defrauded Microsoft out of $459,341.

            In their request for prison time, prosecutors noted that this was not a simple crime of opportunity.  “Mr. Curry stole nearly half a million dollars from his employer in an intricate and sophisticated scheme that took deliberation and careful execution.  This was not a hastily committed crime that would have been easily detected, nor was it something that was designed to be a one-time event.  This crime was serious because of the careful efforts that Mr. Curry took to manipulate third parties, forge documents, and set up a shell company in a manner that indicated that he intended to continue to exploit his employer for as long as possible and for as much as possible,” the prosecutor wrote in her sentencing memo.  The prosecutor also noted that CURRY was the third defendant this year to have been sentenced in this district for theft from Microsoft and urged the court to send a strong deterrent message to make clear that stealing from this company will not be tolerated.

            The case was investigated by the FBI.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Katheryn Kim Frierson.

            For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.



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