Two accused in Cisco fraud plots

Contractor charged with defrauding the company of $10 million. Also: Mass. man allegedly uses false identities to order parts.

A correction was made to this story. Read below for details.

A computer help-desk technician has been charged with trying to defraud networking company Cisco Systems of more than $10 million.

Michael Kyereme, a 40-year-old computer technician, was arrested Friday on charges of trying to defraud Cisco by cheating one of the company's programs that replaces broken or defective parts free of charge.

Kyereme worked as a third-party contractor for the city of Newark, N.J., helping users of the city's computer system with general network queries. According to the charges brought by police in New Jersey, he ordered about 280 parts from Cisco over a five-year period worth around $10 million. An article by the Associated Press said he is now being held in custody and is awaiting trial.

In a search of Kyereme's home, investigators allegedly uncovered more than $3 million worth of parts.

In another incident involving Cisco, Michael Daly, a 53-year-old Massachusetts man, was arrested last week after he allegedly used false identities to order replacement parts from Cisco on at least 700 occasions.

The alleged scheme involved pretending to be a customer, then ordering parts from the company to "replace" Cisco parts that had broken. The supposedly broken parts were sold on the open market. On occasions when he was challenged, Daly allegedly returned worthless parts.

Cisco declined to comment.

Colin Barker of ZDNet UK reported from London.

 

Correction: The original version of this story misidentified Michael Kyereme's employer.
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