Former Microsoft director indicted for wire fraud

The former director of sports marketing and alliances attempted to embezzle nearly $1 million.

A former Microsoft director was indicted in federal court last week for five counts of wire fraud in a scheme to profit by stealing from Microsoft.

U.S. attorney Annette L. Hayes announced on Oct. 17 that a federal grand jury indicted Jeff Tran, 45, also known as Trung Tran, of Seattle. He allegedly created and submitted fraudulent invoices and illicitly used other Microsoft assets in an attempt to steal more than $1.5 million while he was the director of sports marketing and alliances.

Tran will be arraigned on the charges in U.S. District Court in Seattle by Saturday.

Allegedly, Tran stole 62 Super Bowl tickets and pocketed more than $200,000 in January 2017, court documents state. The tickets belonged to Microsoft as part of a promotional relationship with the National Football League (NFL). Additionally, Tran scammed a Microsoft employee into paying him $12,400 for a ticket that Microsoft had purchased. Tran, as the sports marketing director, was responsible for determining which Microsoft employees would receive the Super Bowl tickets, but instead sold them through a ticket broker.

Court documents also allege Tran issued a fraudulent $775,000 invoice to Microsoft in March 2017, supposedly for services related to the 2017 Super Bowl. Tran routed the $775,000 Microsoft payment through two vendors and into his own personal bank account, according to court documents.

Later, Tran attempted a second fraudulent invoice in July 2017 by routing $670,000 to a company he controlled.

Court documents state the vendors became suspicious of Tran’s activity and reported the conduct to Microsoft. Tran then destroyed electronic communications and told the vendors to lie to Microsoft about the $775,000 payment. He returned the $775,000 after Microsoft confronted him.

Tran will face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for wire fraud.

The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. Suspects are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The FBI investigated this case and assistant U.S. attorney Seth Wilkinson is currently prosecuting the case.