Thursday, October 30, 2008

Former McAfee Employee Arrested on Theft Charges

Tracey Kaplan writes in The Mercury News:

Santa Clara-based McAfee touts its security software. But its marketing department was anything but impregnable , based on a complaint Santa Clara County prosecutors filed Thursday.

For the second time, a former employee in McAfee's marketing department has been charged with stealing from the big antivirus software and computer security company — this time, about $3.8 million.

Former product marketing manager Susan Despinic, 35, of Los Gatos is accused of awarding contracts to a firm she and her husband owned, and to a shell company they set up. She and her husband, Aurawm Almaneih, each face one count of felony theft and one excessive-taking enhancement for allegedly stealing more than $2.5 million. Deputy District Attorney Dale B. Lohman said the companies involved in the alleged fraud provided such services as translations, competitive analysis and promotions.

Prosecutors suspect the couple bought a house in Los Gatos with some of the loot, according to Lohman, who alleges the crimes took place from May of 2005 through August of 2007. If convicted, they each face up to seven years in state prison.

Another former employee, Ayshah Maiorano was arrested last year on similar charges. That case is still pending. Maiorano could not be reached for comment.

More here.


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