Seattle Weekly Online heeft een tof artikel over een rechtszaak die Mikroschoft aanspande tegen een of andere hoge pief bij Mikroschoft die door Bill was ontslagen nadat deze wat voor Mikroschoft onplezierige info naar buiten had gebracht. Zo zou Mikroschoft stelselmatig z'n winstcijfers hebben vervalst. Hier wat sappige details:
THE ALLEGATIONS WERE shocking: For years, Microsoft has systematically distorted its profit figures in an effort to consistently beat Wall Street expectations and keep its stock price steadily rising. The false reports would violate SEC regulations, and amount to outright fraud.
More shocking was the source of the allegations: Microsoft's chief of internal audits, Charlie Pancerzewski, who reported directly to the company's chief financial officer.
Most shocking of all was what happened to Pancerzewski when he reported the suspicious bookkeeping to his supervisors, Microsoft CFO Mike Brown and chief operating officer Bob Herbold, in the spring of 1995. Soon afterward, Pancerzewski--who for nearly five years had received stellar performance evaluations--received his first-ever unsatisfactory one, and was eventually forced to resign.
Two months ago, Microsoft quietly settled a lawsuit containing these allegations, filed in 1997 by Pancerzewski under the Whistleblowers Protection Act. The auditor claimed he was wrongfully terminated after telling his supervisors that Microsoft might be breaking securities and tax laws. The lawsuit made its tortuous way through several rounds of pretrial motions until last fall, when US District Judge Carolyn Dimmick denied Microsoft's final plea for summary judgment, finding credible evidence that Microsoft may have violated SEC rules, as Pancerzewski alleged. Shortly thereafter, Microsoft and Pancerzewski settled out of court. Terms of the agreement were sealed, but one source who claims familiarity with the case says that Microsoft paid Pancerzewski $4 million.