Virtual Trailertrash
December 13, 2002 10:57 AM   Subscribe

Microsoft engineer pinched for stealing $9 million worth of software. Not a bright thing to do. Furthermore, why would you post pictures of your expensive toys on the internet? Trying to prove to the folks back home you've made it I suppose.
posted by rotifer (32 comments total)
I like how 'the girl' on the link menu (on his personal site) is not really a link.
posted by jasonspaceman at 11:11 AM on December 13, 2002

His guestbook is a great read.
posted by pemulis at 11:12 AM on December 13, 2002

Glad to see someone taking back what's rightfully theirs from a criminal. This happens all too often, and it's too bad Microsoft is stepping in the way.
posted by shepd at 11:15 AM on December 13, 2002

I love this from "The Casa": In May 2000 the property owner declared independency and considers it as Bavarian soil. There are current negotiations to house also the Brazilian ambassadorship.

So damn funny, for so many reasons...

(on preview) shepd: 2 wrongs don't make a right.
posted by mkultra at 11:19 AM on December 13, 2002

In cases where people commit massive fraud just to finance a lifestyle, they often seem to go too far. It seems the lifestyle alone doesn't meet their expectations; they also have to tell everyone about it.

One guy I remember bought two or three McLaren F1s with misappropriated funds, and then went on a British TV documentary to talk about his life in the big time (leaving out the misappropriation aspect). He was recognised and busted shortly after.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 11:21 AM on December 13, 2002

I hope somebody takes care of his pets.
posted by drobot at 11:23 AM on December 13, 2002

He ought to have been fired for that web site. Christ Jesus, I need to wash my eyes. With ammonia.
posted by yerfatma at 11:39 AM on December 13, 2002

Cripes, his house photos show his address. Bet his neighbours will love the extra traffic.
posted by lucien at 11:44 AM on December 13, 2002

Too bad that the CatCam's last uploaded picture wasn't a shot of the cops busting through the window.
posted by thewittyname at 11:49 AM on December 13, 2002

Oh God, shepd. Go grind that axe somewhere else.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 11:55 AM on December 13, 2002

<obligatory m$ $nark>
does 9 million dollars worth of software even exist anywhere on the redmond campus? what, the d00d helped himself to 75,000 copies of XP? that's only worth like about $30, right?
</obligatory m$ $nark>
posted by quonsar at 12:06 PM on December 13, 2002

So let me get this straight...He's a director on the .NET venture and THAT was his web page. Good God Man!
posted by LouieLoco at 12:33 PM on December 13, 2002

well, generally, a hardcore developer isn't necessarily going to be the greatest designer, you know ...
posted by aenemated at 12:42 PM on December 13, 2002

Anyone who describes themself as "The Dude"...
posted by Kiell at 12:51 PM on December 13, 2002

All I can say is "they let him order $9 million worth of software for a single project?" Boy, does MS have too much money, or what?
posted by tommasz at 1:01 PM on December 13, 2002

His website looks like it was made by a 3rd grader. With dyslexia. And color blindness. Yet he's in a position at Microsoft to have carte blanche to pricey software?

So he stole the "$9 million worth of it." And then what? Sold it on eBay?

Something's fishy here.
posted by Fofer at 1:15 PM on December 13, 2002

Microsoft server software is spendy stuff. We considered it and were looking at something in the range of $30,000.00. My guess would be that he was distributing software through connections overseas.
posted by rotifer at 1:25 PM on December 13, 2002

The inside scoop (based on total hearsay):

Evidentally, he kept under radar by having his direct reports (i.e. people he managed) order the software for him. He'd authorize the purchases, but as far as the accounting system was concerned, the purchases were made by subordinates. Thus, he was able to stay under the radar.

Now, as to $9 million worth of software. That's actually not a whole lot - ever check what a copy of SQL server 7 with 100 client access licenses go for? My bet is that he resold the software to unscrupulous 3rd party system integrators and contractors, who later resold it to their clients at full cost. Sort of like the mechanics who buy (often stolen) used parts, put them in customers' cars and charge them the brand new price for it. Since the software was boxed, with all licenses and docs included, it was legitimate as far as anyone could see.

So, assuming he sold $9 million worth of software at 10% of retail cost, he'd still make $900.000. Enough to buy all the toys on that ridiculous webpage on his. Except, perhaps, "the girl".

Incidentally, the day I heard the news, I went to company address book to check which team he works on, who was his manager, that sort of thing. All the info has already been purged. There is not a mention of him anywhere on his team's website. It's as if he never existed...
posted by blindcarboncopy at 1:25 PM on December 13, 2002

It's as if he never existed...
so, ahem, MS takes the same approach with thieves as it does with security vulnerabilities.
posted by quonsar at 3:25 PM on December 13, 2002

Dude, you're gettin' a cell!

Best line from his guestbook.
posted by jalexei at 3:34 PM on December 13, 2002

They call me Daniel, Dany, Dude, Maindan, Dan, FuzzyFish

The fellas in your cell block will probably think of a couple of more to add to that list, uh, FuzzyFish.
posted by samuelad at 3:54 PM on December 13, 2002

He's not going to some white collar resort. He's going to federal POUND-ME-IN-THE-ASS prison!
posted by chipr at 4:23 PM on December 13, 2002

What a dumbass.
posted by moonbiter at 4:53 PM on December 13, 2002

I think it's pretty interesting that so many people are so pissed off at this guy- you don't see so much invective, for example, when you read about some guy who stole a painting from a gallery.

On the other hand, all the posts to this guy's guestbook could have been written by the same person, which is...also pretty interesting.
posted by faustessa at 5:32 PM on December 13, 2002

Or maybe guys who steal stuff usually don't have shoddy, still-operational websites with guestbooks.
posted by faustessa at 5:33 PM on December 13, 2002

A penny for a glance at that site's logs over the last 24 hours.
posted by rotifer at 7:44 PM on December 13, 2002

Faustessa - I don't think people are upset at the stealing so much as the way the twit crowed about his ill-gotten gains.
posted by chipr at 7:44 PM on December 13, 2002

You're probably right, chipr. It's just weird how focused they are on his imminent anal rape. As opposed to many other things that might not be so nice about getting busted.
posted by faustessa at 7:57 PM on December 13, 2002

For all those who think I have an axe to grind, _most_ people convicted of billions of dollars of fraud go to jail for a long time. Since the corporation was tried as a person before the law, why is it not shut down for a long time also?

Oh, because some people would lose their jobs? I doubt it. They'd be in high demand to keep the proprietary OS running in the many environments that were suckered into using it. IMHO, anyone working there would be a millionaire if MS were to be shut down.

At least I have a valid axe to grind.

Don't like it? At least I get to say you're defending people who commit billions of dollars of fraud! And, if that's the case, I guess you shouldn't feel at all bad about people who fraudulently pirate their software!

(Tsk, tsk, tsk -- You could tune a violin with the irony in this case).
posted by shepd at 9:02 PM on December 13, 2002

I believe antitrust cases are civil actions, not criminal; this is why the DOJ sued Microsoft rather than simply slapping the cuffs on Bill Gates. So technically, the company hasn't been "convicted" of anything, least of all fraud, which is a different thing entirely. I suppose you could make a case that anti-competitive behavior is a category of fraud, but in general the word fraud is used for very specific crimes -- e.g. taking money from someone and not delivering the goods they paid for -- which is not the sort of behavior the company was accused of in US v. Microsoft.

Possibly I'm merely being incredibly anal about this for no good reason.
posted by kindall at 10:58 PM on December 13, 2002

Shepd, it seems to me that your posts are lacking any kind of sense.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 1:35 PM on December 14, 2002

anyone have a link to a mirror/cached copy of the site? It's gone now...
posted by wibbler at 6:23 AM on December 15, 2002

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