Connect with us


Microsoft fires sports director for allegedly creating fake invoices and selling Super Bowl tickets



NFL Microsoft Surface
New England Patriots use the Surface tablet during a Sept. 7 game
against the Miami Dolphins


  • A federal grand jury has indicted Microsoft’s former
    director of Sports Marketing and Alliances for allegedly
    trying to create fake invoices for up to $1.4 million, according
    to the DOJ.
  • The indictment alleges that Jeff Tran tried to route fake
    invoices through two Microsoft vendors and that he scalped
    Super Bowl tickets Microsoft acquired through its Surface
    tablet partnership with the NFL.
  • Tran was one of the people responsible for Microsoft’s
    relationship with the NFL.

A federal grand jury has indicted Microsoft’s former
director of Sports Marketing and Alliances Jeff Tran for
allegedly trying to create more than $1.4 million in fake
the Department of Justice announced on Thursday.

The indictment alleges that Tran, 45, tried to submit fake
invoices and that he sold Super Bowl tickets that Microsoft had
paid for, pocketing the proceeds for himself.

A big part of Tran’s job was to oversee Microsoft’s
marketing partnership with the National Football League. The most
prominent part of that relationship is the NFL’s use of Surface
tablets on the sidelines of games. Last year, the NFL signed a
renewed, five-year contract for the Surface tablets.

As part of its arrangement with the NFL, Microsoft was
allowed to buy a block of Super Bowl tickets. It was Tran’s job
to distribute them to Microsoft employees but the
alleges that instead of distributing them all, he
took 62 of the tickets, sold them off for $200,000 and kept the
money for himself.

But what tipped Microsoft off was suspicions around some
according to the Department of Justice allegations.
As part
of Tran’s job, he was allowed to authorize payments to some
vendors. The indictment alleges that he had a fake $775,000
invoice submitted through Microsoft’s vendors, subverting the
payment to his own bank account. He is accused of trying to
submit another, $670,000 fake invoice as well, but when
Microsoft’s vendors grew concerned about the nature of these
invoices, they alerted the company.

Microsoft reportedly confronted Tran, the DOJ says, and he
returned the initial $775,000. The company fired him, a
spokesperson tells Business Insider, saying, 
“When we
learned of Mr. Tran’s conduct we investigated, terminated his
employment, and then referred the matter to law enforcement.”

Microsoft is known to pay its director-level employees pretty
well. The job may not pay millions, but a director of marketing
at Microsoft makes on average $195,000 total compensation and a
more senior person makes closer to $250,000,
according to self-reported salaries at Glassdoor.

Tran will be arraigned on the charges in U.S. District Court in
Seattle in the next ten days. Tran could not be reached for

Get the latest Microsoft stock price here.

Continue Reading
Advertisement Find your dream job