Former Microsoft Director of Sports Marketing Indicted for Five Counts of Wire Fraud
Used Position to Embezzle more than $750,000 and Sell $200,000 Worth of Microsoft Super Bowl Tickets for Personal Profit
The former Director of Sports Marketing and Alliances at Microsoft was indicted today by a federal grand jury for five counts of wire fraud for his scheme to profit by stealing from Microsoft, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. JEFF TRAN, a/k/a TRUNG TRAN, 45 of Seattle, is alleged to have used his position at Microsoft to attempt to steal more than $1.5 million through the creation and submission of fraudulent invoices and the unauthorized use of other Microsoft assets. TRAN will be arraigned on the charges in U.S. District Court in Seattle in the next ten days.
According to the allegations in the indictment, TRAN oversaw Microsoft’s promotional relationship with the National Football League (NFL). The indictment alleges that in March 2017, TRAN caused a fraudulent $775,000 invoice to be issued to Microsoft, supposedly for services related to the 2017 Super Bowl. Tran caused the $775,000 payment from Microsoft to be routed through two Microsoft vendors and then to Tran’s personal bank account. Tran then attempted to cause Microsoft to make a second payment for $670,000, based on another fraudulent invoice. Tran intended to route that payment to a company Tran controlled. 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. After Microsoft confronted Tran, Tran returned the $775,000.
The indictment also alleges that Tran stole blocks of Super Bowl tickets belonging to Microsoft. Because of his position, Tran was responsible for determining which Microsoft employees would receive Microsoft Super Bowl tickets. However, instead of distributing all of the tickets to Microsoft employees, TRAN sold over 60 of the tickets through a ticket broker and pocketed more than $200,000.
Wire Fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case was investigated by the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Seth Wilkinson.