Cisco scammer gets 5 years in jail

A federal judge today sentenced  an independent computer contractor who bilked Cisco and its SmartNet program out of $4.2 million, to five years in prison.

According to the FBI, Michael Kyereme was an independent contractor hired to provide information technology support to the City of Newark. As an independent contractor, Kyereme was responsible for assisting Newark employees when computer problems arose that required technical support or trouble-shooting by a computer technician. If it was determined that a computer-related problem could not be solved without outside assistance or a replacement part, Kyereme was authorized to contact Cisco for technical assistance and, if necessary, to request a replacement part.

Kyereme used his position as an independent contractor to engage in a scheme to defraud Cisco of money and property valued at more than $10,000,000. The FBI said Kyereme would falsely claim that certain Cisco parts in the City of Newark's computer systems were malfunctioning and thus required replacement. In response to these numerous requests, Cisco sent approximately 280 replacement parts to Kyereme on behalf of the City of Newark.

Instead of installing these parts in the City of Newark's computer system, Kyereme would keep the parts and sell them to a computer reseller, and keep the money for himself, while returning parts of lesser commercial value to Cisco, the FBI said. In all, Kyereme failed to return 148 of the allegedly inoperable parts to Cisco and of the approximately 132 allegedly inoperable parts he did return to Cisco, only 33 of those parts matched the type of part originally sent by Cisco to Kyereme , the FBI stated.

Prosecutors say that Kyereme resold the parts in California.

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