A former Microsoft contractor has been convicted of stealing nearly $500,000 dollars from the company has been sentenced to four years in federal prison after pleading guilty. Maryvone Phanhsiry admitted she took nearly $500,000 dollars while working for a Microsoft contractor in providing pre-paid debit cards to company interns.
Apparently, Phanhsiry took several trips to Las Vegas, paid for cosmetic surgeries on herself using the money, paid for her own lavish wedding, and bought four luxury cars.
Phanhsiry worked for Cartus Corp and requested US Bank debit cards in excess of the number needed to pay for the housing costs of Microsoft interns living on their own. Phanhsiry apparently got carried away and began committing fraud.
In a letter to the court, Phanhsiry stated that she stole from Microsoft to give her children the things she never had or could afford with her $45,000-a-year salary. “I struggled all my life with being poor, being abandoned by my mother, and having my childhood taken from me. Instead of offering them what I didn’t have I took away what they did have.
Prosecutors argued otherwise and stated that she spent all the stolen money on herself and not her children. “Her children did not benefit from trips to Las Vegas, a $30,000 wedding celebration, $4,000 in hair extensions, thousands of dollars on cosmetic surgeries and beauty treatments. And her toddler-age school children were not driving Lexus and Mercedes cars.”
150 of the interns were from foreign countries and may not even know that Phanhsiry took out a card on their name. “Once they completed their internships and returned to their respective home countries, it was less likely they would detect the cards she ordered in their names. Each of the 150 former interns could have faced tax consequences stemming from (Phanhsiry’s) fraud.”
The fruad was discovered when a former Microsoft intern saw his tax statement which had a value of a card taken out by Phanhsiry in his name. Phanhsiry pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.Further reading: Microsoft, Security