An IT manager at the Woodbury-based Postal Credit Union has pleaded guilty to scamming computer giant Cisco Systems out of $388,000 by swapping allegedly defective Cisco parts for good ones and then reselling the replacements on the open market.
Phillip Webb, a former network services manager for the credit union, would send what he claimed were defective parts back to Cisco. When the company sent new ones, he found buyers and pocketed the proceeds. A joint Postal Service and IRS investigation revealed that Webb sent 55 parts to Cisco, only 13 of which were actually defective.
The rest weren’t even from the credit union’s system—just cheap parts he purchased elsewhere. One of the largest transactions occurred in June 2009 when Webb requested a $7,500 ethernet port switch. He kept the switch and sent Cisco a second-hand part he had purchased for much less.
Webb pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and faces up to 20 years in prison.
Note: Employees don’t always apply their creativity legitimately on the job. That’s why you need a set of checks and balances to ensure employees aren’t lining their own pockets at your expense. Requiring two signatures for purchases protects both you and your vendors.