A man who stole nearly $2 million worth of gear from Cisco a few years ago is back at work for the Cisco partner where he was employed when he was convicted, we’ve learned.Cisco manufacturers network and security gear such as routers, switches and WiFi equipment. It doesn’t sell that gear to businesses directly but uses partners — known as resellers. Resellers install, service and maintain that gear. A Cisco Gold Partner is the highest level of partnership available.
In 2008, Kent Scott Andrews was sentenced to 33 months in prison for a scheme that defrauded Cisco out of network gear worth $1,982,926. (Here’s the Department of Justice press release on the conviction.)
Andrews has now been released from prison and is again employed by the same company — which has changed its name from Telsource to Acuative.
Acuative is a Cisco Gold Partner, which ranked among the biggest resellers in the nation in 2010 with $73 million in annual revenue, according to CRN.
Between December 2003 and May 2006, Andrews submitted fraudulent service claims under Cisco’s SMARTnet extended service plan. The claims covered about 241 Cisco computer networking parts, even though Andrews didn’t actually possess defective parts. Under SMARTnet, Cisco shipped replacement parts and Andrews was free to sell those new parts on eBay.
Andrews talked to us about his situation. He said the crime he committed did not occur while working for his employer.
He had, however, worked for Telsource prior to 2003, the company’s CEO Vincent Sciarra confirmed. Sciarra says that Andrews left in 2003 and was hired back sometime after 2006. He worked there until the cops came calling. As to why the company hired him back after his stint in prison, Sciarra explained, “He’s a very good technical resource for us.”
In addition to serving jail time, Andrews was ordered to pay back the nearly $2 million in restitution to Cisco.
“I committed a crime. I’m not denying that I have. I went to jail, I’m still paying restitution for it. I’ll be paying restitution forever,” Andrews told Business Insider. “I didn’t do anything while at Telsource. I’m trying to turn my life around and the owners have been very good to me.”
Acuative is a company that manages Cisco SMARTnet contracts for business customers. According to Acuative’s website, their service gives employees access to SMARTnet data to …
- Discover all contract and device data
- Reconcile with the Cisco database where appropriate
- Correct duplications, uncovered equipment, and other errors
- realise any credits for contract changes or deletions.
Records obtained by Business Insider indicate that Andrews’ Cisco CCIE certification is still valid. The CCIE is Cisco’s highest-level and extremely well-respected certification. Cisco will revoke a CCIE if it is found that a person has abused it.
Given that Andrews was convicted, Cisco can’t say it didn’t know that Andrews had committed SMARTnet fraud.
Obviously, people make mistakes, and Andrews appears to have learned from his. But the fact that he’s back at work in the same position is certainly startling.
We contacted Cisco for comment on this story. Cisco did not respond.