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Microsoft ex-staffer pleads guilty to theft

A former Microsoft employee pleads guilty to falsely ordering software meant for internal use and selling it for personal profit, the third such incident since last December.

A former Microsoft employee pleaded guilty on Tuesday to falsely ordering software meant for internal use and selling it for personal profit, the third such incident since last December.

Kori Robin Brown, 31, a former administrative assistant at the company's Xbox video console and games division, ordered more than $6 million worth of Microsoft's SQL Server database software and sold it for personal gain between 1998 and 2000, according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney's office for the Western District of Washington.

Brown's fraud was initially uncovered during a crackdown on criminal theft of software at Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., headquarters late last year, a representative said.

Last month, Windows project coordinator Richard Gregg was arrested and indicted for allegedly stealing more than $17 million of software.

Microsoft hired investigators and put in updated systems to uncover violations of internal policy after Daniel Feussner, a former Microsoft manager, was fired and arrested in December 2002 for allegedly funding a lavish lifestyle by selling discounted software for personal profit. Feussner later died in a local hospital.

Brown, who was terminated by Microsoft after an internal investigation, faces up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 for mail fraud, will be sentenced on Oct. 3.

Story Copyright  © 2003 Reuters Limited.  All rights reserved.