Accountants Geoffrey Osowski and Wilson Tang pleaded guilty in April 2001 to exceeding their authorized access to the Cisco Systems Inc. computers so that they could illegally issue about $8 million in Cisco stock to themselves. They were charged with violating Title 18, United States Criminal Code by committing computer and wire fraud. Under a plea bargain, they consented to pay back money amounting to the difference between almost $8 million that they issued to themselves and that which the government could recover from the sale of jewelry, an automobile, and other purchased goods.
The pair admitted that between October 2000 and March 2001, they worked together to defraud Cisco Systems so that they could get Cisco stock they were not authorized to get. In December 2000, they moved 97,750 shares of Cisco stock into two separate accounts at Merrill Lynch, with 58,250 of the shares to be deposited into an account for Osowski and 39,500 shares to be deposited into an account for Tang.
In February 2001, the cybercrime team caused two more transfers of stock to their accounts, this time of 67,500 and 65,300 shares. For their cybercrime, Osowski and Tang were sentenced to 34 months in prison.
U.S. Department of Justice. Former Cisco Accountants Plead Guilty to Wire Fraud via Unauthorized Access to Cisco Stock. [Online, January 17, 2003.] U.S. Department of Justice Website. http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/OsowskiPlea.htm.