Tech

The whistleblower said Microsoft paid millions of dollars in bribes abroad


In an essay On Friday on the Lioness whistleblower platform, former Microsoft executive Yasser Elabd alleges that Microsoft fired him after he warned leadership to go to a workplace where employees, subcontractors and government executives often frequently engaged in bribery. He also alleges that efforts to raise his concerns led to retaliation within Microsoft by regulators and ultimately to the termination of his role.

Elabd stated in his essay that he worked for Microsoft from 1998 to 2018 and oversaw a “business investment fund” – essentially an intensive fund to “consolidate long-term deals”. ” in the Middle East and Africa. But he is increasingly suspicious of irregular payments to seemingly unqualified partners. After examining several independent audits, he discovered what he believed to be a universal fact: After setting up a massive sale to companies in the region, a “discount” discount” will be included, only for the difference between the full shipping cost and the discount fee. be skimmed and divided among the deal-makers.

“The person making the decision on the customer side will email Microsoft asking for a discount, which will be approved, but the end customer will still pay the full fee. The discount amount will then be distributed to the parties proportionally: Microsoft employee(s) involved in the plan, partners, and decision makers at the purchasing unit — typically a key official government,” Elabd alleged.

The former Microsoft manager gave several examples of the suspicious transactions and red flags he witnessed during his two decades working for the company overseas. During an audit, Microsoft gave the Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry a discount of $13.6 million. In 2015, a Nigerian official complained that the government was paying $5.5 million for licenses “for hardware they don’t own.”

In another example, the Qatari Ministry of Education paid $9.5 million, over a period of seven years, for unused Microsoft Office and Windows licenses. Auditors later discovered that employees at that agency did not even have access to computers.

“We are committed to doing business responsibly and always encourage anyone to report anything they see as a violation of the law, our policies or our ethical standards.” Becky Lenaburg, Microsoft Vice President and VP of Ethics and Compliance, wrote in a statement to The Verge. “We believe we have previously investigated these allegations, which date back many years, and have addressed them. We have cooperated with government agencies to address any concerns.”

Elabd claims his efforts to warn regulators resulted in him being yelled at by a manager, kicked out of certain deals and being told by an executive that he had Effective self-setup to be abandoned after attempting to involve CEO Satya Nadella. After his contract was terminated, Elabd wrote that he brought his documents before the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department. He claims the DoJ has refused to settle his case. Based on ProtocolSEC case earlier this month due to lack of resources.

“As I allege in my complaint with the SEC, Microsoft is violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and continues to do so blatantly. And why wouldn’t they? “

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