The whistleblower has claimed that the governments operating with Microsoft are throwing away millions of public dollars on unused Microsoft products so a few select officials, partners, and employees can enrich themselves. This is just merely one of the aspects that the whistleblower exposed in the Microsoft’s massive foreign bribery network.
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A technological giant, acccording to Microsoft whistleblower Yasser Elabd, a 20-year worker who released his evidence on the website Lioness on Friday, the company is bribing clients on a vast magnitude in the Middle East and Africa.
Elabd alleges that the firm spend upwards of $200 million per year on bribery and kickback schemes in nations such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Ghana. Furthermore, he claims, more than half of the managers and salespeople in particular locations – as much as 70% – are complicit in the fraud, and anybody who attempts to halt the environment of ripoffs is excluded out of excellent deals and eventually forced out of the organization.
Although the frauds took various forms, they frequently involved governments spending millions of dollars for software they hadn’t ever received or “receiving” substantial discounts which never made it onto the customer’s balance sheet; the missing money would then be divided among Microsoft staff and government figures implicated in the sale, as well as the subcontractor, according to Elabd.
“It’s going on at all levels. All the executives are aware of it, and they’re promoting the bad people,” the former executive said on Friday to The Verge. “If you’re doing the right thing, they won’t promote you.” He claims to have met with five other workers who were likewise reprimanded for reporting fraud.
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The US Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice previously probed assertions that Microsoft received similar kinds of bribes in Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Thailand, eventually reaching a $25.3 million compromise with the software giant in return for the company pledging to discontinue agreements with a particular partner, among other terms.
Despite firm president Brad Smith’s subsequent mea culpa letter, in which he branded the bribery “completely unacceptable” and requested more control, Elabd claims the issue has only worsened, stating that Microsoft continues to engage with the blacklisted partner via a middleman.
While Elabd was able to obstruct an identical bribery case in Nigeria, he was summoned by management and chastised for his interfering, labelled a “blocker,” and told to “turn your head and leave it as is” if anything more “suspicious” came up. From that day forward, he was reportedly stamped with a scarlet letter, as he was barred from profitable negotiations, had travel applications refused, and was relegated to a “performance improvement plan.” He refused to put up with the humiliation, and as a result, he lost his job.
This has not deterred Elabd from investigating other instances of corruption and fraud at Microsoft and its subcontractors. He claims to have evidence of bribes paid to Microsoft and its subcontractors from Qatar, Cameroon, and South Africa, which he has submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Even though he has provided the proof three times, he claims that the SEC and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) seem disinterested in investigating the case. Microsoft, for its side, has tried to blame the pandemic for its inability and reluctance to collect additional information from abroad — evidence that he claims they do not need because he has already delivered it.
Throughout his allegation, Elabd claims that Microsoft has effectively monopolized workplace software on the African continent, claiming that governments operating with Microsoft are “throwing away millions of public dollars on unused Microsoft products so a few select officials, partners, and employees can enrich themselves.”
In reaction to Elabd’s charges, Microsoft’s VP and deputy general counsel for compliance and ethics Becky Lenaburg told The Verge that the company has “previously investigated these allegations, which are many years old, and addressed them.” The corporation stated that it is devoted to “ethical practices” and that all of its workers must attend “standards of business” seminars that train them how to report bribery instances.