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Ex-Verizon Wireless worker gets four years for fraudulently funding friend's features with Cisco gear

A former Verizon Wireless employee who sold Cisco parts to fund his girlfriend's cosmetic surgery is going to jail. Michael Baxter of Ball Ground, GA., was sentenced to four years in federal prison for ordering nearly $2.8 million in Cisco gear for Verizon Wireless and then selling it out of his home to buy cars, jewelry and "multiple" cosmetic surgeries for his girlfriend, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Baxter perpetrated his fraud for a decade, the AJC reports. He was employed by Verizon in Alpharetta, GA., for 16 years, from 1994 until he was fired in 2010.

Beginning in early 2001, Baxter placed hundreds of Cisco parts orders for Verizon Wireless but then took them home and sold them to third-party resellers for a profit, according to the U.S. attorney's office. Prosecutors said he then used the money to take international trips and to buy luxury goods and services, and "multiple cosmetic surgeries" for his girlfriend, whom they did not identify.

Baxter was convicted of wire fraud in February after pleading guilty.

In addition to his four-year sentence followed by three years of supervised release, Baxter was ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution to Cisco, and $462,828 in restitution to Verizon.

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