EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.26.08

Financial Fraud Claimed at Microsoft; Microsoft Paid Microsoft Witness to Shut Up

Posted in Finance, Fraud, Microsoft at 6:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The following old article is hugely damaging and we are fortunate to have found a copy of it in the Web Archive. It vanished from the Seattle Weekly.

This article, which is titled “Microfraud?”, provides a testimony from a Microsoft insider who claims financial fraud. Interestingly enough (but not so surprisingly), Microsoft paid him a fortune to go away, keep quiet, and for the terms of the settlement not to be disclosed (recall Iowa and Caldera for similar examples).

Here are the opening paragraphs from this article.

THE ALLEGATIONS WERE shocking: For years, Microsoft has systematically distorted its profit figures in an effort to consistently beat Wall Street expectations and keep its stock price steadily rising. The false reports would violate SEC regulations, and amount to outright fraud.

More shocking was the source of the allegations: Microsoft’s chief of internal audits, Charlie Pancerzewski, who reported directly to the company’s chief financial officer.

Most shocking of all was what happened to Pancerzewski when he reported the suspicious bookkeeping to his supervisors, Microsoft CFO Mike Brown and chief operating officer Bob Herbold, in the spring of 1995. Soon afterward, Pancerzewski—who for nearly five years had received stellar performance evaluations—received his first-ever unsatisfactory one, and was eventually forced to resign.

Two months ago, Microsoft quietly settled a lawsuit containing these allegations, filed in 1997 by Pancerzewski under the Whistleblowers Protection Act. The auditor claimed he was wrongfully terminated after telling his supervisors that Microsoft might be breaking securities and tax laws. The lawsuit made its tortuous way through several rounds of pretrial motions until last fall, when US District Judge Carolyn Dimmick denied Microsoft’s final plea for summary judgment, finding credible evidence that Microsoft may have violated SEC rules, as Pancerzewski alleged. Shortly thereafter, Microsoft and Pancerzewski settled out of court. Terms of the agreement were sealed, but one source who claims familiarity with the case says that Microsoft paid Pancerzewski $4 million.

Microsoft is claimed to have lost $18 billion in 1998. That is another article that magically vanished, but we managed to find a copy.

More recently, one financial manager from Microsoft was prosecuted for embezzlement [1, 2, 3]. If the legal system is functional, more Microsoft employees might need to be put in prison and it goes all the way to the top (managers). One of them ended up jailed about a month ago. There are other examples, such as Robert Bach, a Microsoft chief who was accused of inside-trading [1, 2]. There was never a trail, but there sure was evidece.

Novell, for that matter, is no saint, either. Novell too is said to be cooking its books, but the SEC does not see it.

There is a lot of investigation to do on this, and we shall continue to do it. Please post any corrections you may have so that we don’t make improper accusations.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

4 Comments

  1. julian67 said,

    August 26, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    Gravatar

    The page referenced hasn’t vanished at all.

    It’s available at http://www.seattleweekly.com/1999-01-06/news/microfraud.php and dates from 1999. I accessed it without difficulty.

    It relates that most of the allegations were proven unfounded “Judge Dimmick threw out most of Pancerzewski’s allegations (including the European tax issue and a separate age discrimination claim) for lack of evidence, but left it for the trial to determine the truth of his charge that Microsoft fraudulently “borrowed” from its cash reserves in relatively lean reporting periods and hoarded cash in the reserves during fatter times, in order to give a more orderly appearance to its earning pattern.”

    No report of any resulting adjudication is made.

  2. Cypress said,

    August 26, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Gravatar

    Excellent article. It’s nice to see that people don’t forget and that not everything can be buried and forgotten. :)

  3. Sander Marechal said,

    August 27, 2008 at 1:52 am

    Gravatar

    Roy, please do what Eric S. Raymond did.

    Make a copy of those relevant articles. Then publish the article here *in full* but with enough of your own comments mixed in that it falls entirely under fair use. See the Halloween FAQ at http://www.catb.org/~esr/halloween/faq.html point “Would you please make un-annotated versions available?”.

    If external articles are important then it’s worth making copies. It keeps the information from disappearing from under our feet.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 27, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Gravatar

    Update: in USENET, Rex Ballard has posted the following response:


    Message-ID: <d7e98c92-d352-4e27-a4f9-179712da3ad3@26g2000hsk.googlegroups.com>
    From: Rex Ballard <rex.ballard@gmail.com>
    Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
    Subject: Re: [Old] Microsoft is a Financial Fraud (Like Enron), Says Top Microsofter!
    Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 09:29:48 -0700 (PDT)

    > Microfraud?
    > ,—-[ Quote ]
    > | THE ALLEGATIONS WERE shocking: For years, Microsoft has systematically
    > | distorted its profit figures in an effort to consistently beat Wall Street
    > | expectations and keep its stock price steadily rising. The false reports
    > | would violate SEC regulations, and amount to outright fraud.

    This wasn’t such a big surprise, but the Clinton Administration wasn’t
    interested in investigating securities fraud that publicly. They
    understood that even the RUMOR of an SEC investigation could trigger
    panic around that stock, then that industry, and finally the entire
    market.

    The Bush administration put Harvey Pitt in charge of the SEC, and
    Harvey wanted to make a name for himself by initiating a bunch of very
    public investigations of former Bush supporters who didn’t come
    through for George W Bush when needed. The offenses were often less
    than 1% but the public investigation triggered panic selling that
    crashed 98% of the value of the stock, with WorldCom investors left
    with nothing, over a 1% irregularity.

    But the Bush Administration had zero interest in prosecuting
    Microsoft, who had made a number of political contributions, AND a
    number of contributions to charities suggested by Carl Rove and Jack
    Abramhov. Microsoft could have inflated it’s numbers by 25% but Bush
    wasn’t even going to enforce the actual judgement against Microsoft
    that they already had. Microsoft’s executives admitted under oath, in
    depositions, and in email divulged during discovery that they
    routinely engaged in fraud, extortion, blackmail, sabotage, and
    obstruction of justice, but the Bush Administration felt “Companies
    should have a right to profit from their innovations”. McCain has
    made an identical statement – I wonder how much Microsoft gave to the
    “streight talk express” and it’s puppet charities, and whether McCain
    is aware of how owned he is.

    Even though there have been something like 9,000 complaints against
    Microsoft and specific anticompetitive business practices, the DOJ has
    packed the “Technical committee” with Micrososft friendly members, so
    they don’t see anything wrong. And the DOJ itself tries to overrule
    several other states and say “There’s not a problem”.

    > | More shocking was the source of the allegations: Microsoft’s chief of
    > | internal audits, Charlie Pancerzewski, who reported directly to the company’s
    > | chief financial officer.

    And he reported the irregularities back in 1997, when nobody cared.

    > | Most shocking of all was what happened to Pancerzewski when he reported the
    > | suspicious bookkeeping to his supervisors, Microsoft CFO Mike Brown and chief
    > | operating officer Bob Herbold, in the spring of 1995. Soon afterward,
    > | Pancerzewski—who for nearly five years had received stellar performance
    > | evaluations—received his first-ever unsatisfactory one, and was eventually
    > | forced to resign.

    Yep. Microsoft was probably the leader in that corporate disease that
    made examples of a few
    “trouble-makers” who “weren’t team players” and “didn’t have the
    company religion”. It’s a good
    way to keep the others who know about the “little problem” from
    getting any “dangerous ideas”.

    > | Two months ago, Microsoft quietly settled a lawsuit containing these
    > | allegations, filed in 1997 by Pancerzewski under the Whistleblowers
    > | Protection Act. The auditor claimed he was wrongfully terminated after
    > | telling his supervisors that Microsoft might be breaking securities and tax
    > | laws. The lawsuit made its tortuous way through several rounds of pretrial
    > | motions until last fall, when US District Judge Carolyn Dimmick denied
    > | Microsoft’s final plea for summary judgment, finding credible evidence that
    > | Microsoft may have violated SEC rules, as Pancerzewski alleged. Shortly
    > | thereafter, Microsoft and Pancerzewski settled out of court. Terms of the
    > | agreement were sealed, but one source who claims familiarity with the case
    > | says that Microsoft paid Pancerzewski $4 million.

    Typical Microsoft tactic. Try to get a preliminary judgement, and if
    the judge gives
    you a clearly unfavorable ruling suggests further investigation, they
    bury the case
    by offering a settlement, having the records sealed, and barring the
    other party from
    testifying against Microsoft.

    > http://web.archive.org/web/20070308032343rn_2/www.seattleweekly.com/1

    > Why was this article removed last year? Why was the man paid 4 million to keep
    > is mouth shut? This is hugely damaging! It’s a smoking gun.

    > Another thing to point to when people ask: “why is Microsoft a criminal
    > organisation?”
    >
    > Recent:

    > Ex-Microsoft Manager Sentenced for Fraud
    > http://www.hardocp.com/news.html?news=MzM3NjYsLCxoZW50aHVzaWFzdCwsLDE=
    >
    > Ex-Microsoft Manager Pleads Guilty, Sentenced For Embezzlement
    > http://www.crn.com/software/209400603

    Notice how quickly the federal prosecutors went after the ex manager
    who was defrauding Microsoft. In the plea-bargain, she got 22 months,
    and just under $1 million in settlements.
    The 22 months may have helped her get into “club fed” and the actual
    amount might have been $1 million minus her own legal fees.

    > Ex-Microsoft manager ordered to prison
    > http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2008/07/19/Ex-Microsoft_manager_orde
    >
    > Ex-Microsoft manager jailed for $1m fraud
    > http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2222135/microsoft-manager-jailed-1m
    >
    > Ex-Microsoft Manager Gets 22 Months for Fraud
    > http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/148642/exmicrosoft_mana
    >
    > Ex-Microsoft boss sentenced
    > http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/371393_msftcourt19.html
    >
    > Former Microsoft Manager Gets 2 Years In Jail
    > http://news.portalit.net/fullnews_former-microsoft-manager-gets-2-yea

    > Kirkland woman senteced to 22 months, ordered to repay nearly $1 million, for
    > embezzlement scheme
    > http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/news/25634819.html

    Wow, mess with Microsoft and your punishment will make LOTS of papers
    - message, don’t mess with Microsoft, they will mess you up.

What Else is New


  1. Astoundingly, IP Kat Has Become a Leading Source of UPC and Battistelli Propaganda

    The pro-UPC outlets, which enjoy EPO budget (i.e. stakeholders' money), are becoming mere amplifiers of Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand UPC woman Margot Fröhlinger, irrespective of actual facts



  2. EPO Fiasco to be Discussed in German Local Authority (Bavarian Parliament) Some Time Today as the Institution Continues Its Avoidable Collapse

    Conflict between management and staff -- a result of truly destructive strategies and violations of the law by Benoît Battistelli -- continues to escalate and threatens to altogether dismantle the European Patent Office (EPO)



  3. In the US and Elsewhere, Qualcomm's Software Patents Are a Significant Tax Everyone Must Pay

    The state of the mobile market when companies such as Qualcomm, which don't really produce anything, take a large piece of the revenue pie



  4. In South Asia, Old Myths to Promote Patent Maximalism, Courtesy of the Patent Microcosm

    The latest example of software patents advocacy and patent 'parades' in India, as well as something from IPOS in Singapore



  5. Links 24/4/2017: Linux 4.11 RC8, MPV 0.25

    Links for the day



  6. Why Authorities in the Netherlands Need to Strip the EPO of Immunity and Investigate Fire Safety Violations

    How intimidation and crackdown on the staff representatives at the EPO may have led to lack of awareness (and action) about lack of compliance with fire safety standards



  7. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part IX: Testament to the Fear of an Autocratic Regime

    A return to the crucial observation and a reminder of the fact that at the EPO it takes great courage to say the truth nowadays



  8. For the Fordham Echo Chamber (Patent Maximalism), Judges From the EPO Boards of Appeal Are Not Worth Entertaining

    In an event steered if not stuffed by patent radicals such as Bristows and Microsoft (abusive, serial litigators) there are no balanced panels or even reasonable discussions



  9. EPO Staff Representatives Fired Using “Disciplinary Committee That Was Improperly Composed” as Per ILO's Decision

    The Board of the Administrative Council at European Patent Organisation is being informed of the union-busting activities of Battistelli -- activities that are both illegal (as per national and international standards) and are detrimental to the Organisation



  10. Links 23/4/2017: End of arkOS, Collabora Office 5.3 Released

    Links for the day



  11. Intellectual Discovery and Microsoft Feed Patent Trolls Like Intellectual Ventures Which Then Strategically Attack Rivals

    Like a swarm of blood-sucking bats, patent trolls prey on affluent companies that derive their wealth from GNU/Linux and freedom-respecting software (Free/libre software)



  12. The European Patent Office Has Just Killed a Cat (or Skinned a 'Kat')

    The EPO’s attack on the media, including us, resulted in a stream of misinformation and puff pieces about the EPO and UPC, putting at risk not just European democracy but also corrupting the European press



  13. Yann Ménière Resorts to Buzzwords to Recklessly Promote Floods of Patents, Dooming the EPO Amid Decline in Patent Applications

    Battistelli's French Chief Economist is not much of an economist but a patent maximalist toeing the party line of Monsieur Battistelli (lots of easy grants and litigation galore, for UPC hopefuls)



  14. Even Patent Bullies Like Microsoft and Facebook Find the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Useful

    Not just companies accused of patent infringement need the PTAB but also frequent accusers with deep pockets need the PTAB, based on some new figures and new developments



  15. Links 21/4/2017: Qt Creator 4.2.2, ROSA Desktop Fresh R9

    Links for the day



  16. At the EPO, Seeding of Puff Piece in the Press/Academia Sometimes Transparent Enough to View

    The EPO‘s PR team likes to 'spam' journalists and others (for PR) and sometimes does this publicly, as the tweets below show — a desperate recruitment and reputation laundering drive



  17. Affordable and Sophisticated Mobile Devices Are Kept Away by Patent Trolls and Aggressors That Tax Everything

    The war against commoditisation of mobile computing has turned a potentially thriving market with fast innovation rates into a war zone full of patent trolls (sometimes suing at the behest of large companies that hand them patents for this purpose)



  18. In Spite of Lobbying and Endless Attempts by the Patent Microcosm, US Supreme Court Won't Consider Any Software Patent Cases Anymore (in the Foreseeable Future)

    Lobbyists of software patents, i.e. proponents of endless litigation and patent trolls, are attempting to convince the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to have another look at abstract patents and reconsider its position on cases like Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International



  19. Expect Team UPC to Remain in Deep Denial About the Unitary Patent/Unified Court (UPC) Having No Prospects

    The prevailing denial that the UPC is effectively dead, courtesy of sites and blogs whose writers stood to profit from the UPC



  20. EPO in 2017: Erroneously Grant a Lot of Patents in Bulk or Get Sacked

    Quality of patent examination is being abandoned at the EPO and those who disobey or refuse to play along are being fired (or asked to resign to avoid forced resignations which would stain their record)



  21. Links 21/4/2017: System76 Entering Phase Three, KDE Applications 17.04, Elive 2.9.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  22. Bristows-Run IP Kat Continues to Spread Lies to Promote the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Advance the EPO Management's Agenda

    An eclectic response to some of the misleading if not villainous responses to the UPC's death knell in the UK, as well as other noteworthy observations about think tanks and misinformation whose purpose is to warp the patent system so that it serves law firms, for the most part at the expense of science and technology



  23. Links 20/4/2017: Tor Browser 6.5.2, PacketFence 7.0, New Firefox and Chrome

    Links for the day



  24. Patents on Business Methods and Software Are Collapsing, But the Patent Microcosm is Working Hard to Change That

    The never-ending battle over patent law, where those who are in the business of patents push for endless patenting, is still ongoing and resistance/opposition is needed from those who actually produce things (other than litigation) or else they will be perpetually taxed by parasites



  25. IAM, the Patent Trolls' Voice, is Trying to Deny There is a Growing Trolling Problem in Europe

    IAM Media (the EPO's and trolls' mouthpiece) continues a rather disturbing pattern of propaganda dressed up as "news", promoting the agenda of parasites who drain the economy by extortion of legitimate (producing) companies



  26. The Patent Microcosm Keeps Attacking Every Patent Office/System That is Doing the Right Thing

    Patent 'radicals' and 'extremists' -- those to whom patents are needed solely for the purpose of profit from bureaucracy -- fight hard against patent quality and in the process they harm everyone, including individual customers



  27. Another Final Nail in the UPC Coffin: UK General Election

    Ratification of the UPC in the UK can drag on for several more years and never be done thereafter, throwing into uncertainty the whole UPC (EU-wide) as we know it



  28. Links 19/4/2017: DockerCon Coverage, Ubuntu Switching to Wayland

    Links for the day



  29. Links 18/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.4, FFmpeg 3.3

    Links for the day



  30. Patents Roundup: Microsoft, Embargo, Tax Evasion, Surveillance, and Censorship

    An excess of patents and their overutilisation for purposes other than innovation (or dissemination of knowledge) means that society has much to lose, sometimes more than there is to gain


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts