In a story that sounds a little like the plot from the movie Office Space, an ex-Microsoft accountant was sentenced today to two years in federal prison after being convicted of stealing $1.1 million from the company. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer web site, 54 year old Randal Ray Seal was also ordered by U.S. District Court Judge James Robart to pay back the full amount he took from Microsoft.
Seal, of Shoreline, Washington, started working for a contractor who did business with Microsoft in the 1990s. Later was hired full time by the company and worked in Microsoft's Redmond, Washington office in its corporate services department. In 2003, Seal was audited a number of times due to changes in his department. He apparently took it personally and took advantage of some flaws he had discovered in the company's bookkeeping department to take money from Microsoft. He reportedly said he stole the funds in order to teach a "lesson to his superiors". Microsoft laid off Seal in 2004 but he still had possession of the company's stolen money.
Microsoft finally discovered the missing funds in 2009 and alerted federal prosecutors. After he was discovered, Seal entered a plea agreement in 2010, admitting he was guilty of money laundering. In a letter to the court Seal said, "When asked by the government, I stood up and took responsibility. I didn’t make the same mistake twice.” Assistant U.S Attorney Mark Parrent didn't have much sympathy, saying, "Over a period of many months, the defendant executed a scheme to steal more than $1 million. He had many chances to change his mind and end the scheme.”