by: Casey McNerthney, KIRO 7 STAFF Updated:
A former Microsoft employee is facing felony theft charges after police say she used her access to a Microsoft corporate credit card to purchase Tiffany jewelry for herself.
Anne Westby, of Lynnwood, was tasked with making purchases for Microsoft Global Exchange Awards -- something given to an employee identified by Alain Crozier, chief financial officer of the sales, marketing and services group, for exceptional work during the year. Gifts were typically a Tiffany watch and a crystal award. Police say the jewelry was expensed and reconciled by Westby.
A former Microsoft investigator was employed at Tiffany and Co. at Bellevue Square Mall and told police Westby came by in summer 2012 to make a return on jewelry that had been purchased using the Microsoft corporate discount.
The investigators were suspicious when he said Westby asked for the full price and wanted the refund on her personal credit card instead of the corporate card that had been used originally. Prosecutors say he contacted Microsoft’s financial integrity unit.
Police say Westby intentionally used the CFO’s card for Tiffany purchases. In at least one instance from 2012, Westby said she intended to pay Microsoft back but had not yet done so.
Earlier this year, Westby went to the Redmond Police Department and admitted falsifying expense reports to buy Tiffany jewelry for her own benefit, court documents show. Police say she brought a bag containing most the jewelry.
“Based upon the documents acquired by FIU and the admissions made by Westby the total of the purchases made (by) Westby on the Microsoft corporate credit card is $47,956.21,” Redmond police Detective G.L. Patrick wrote in a probable cause document. “These purchases were made without the knowledge or authorization of Microsoft.”
Westby is expected to have an arraignment, where she’ll enter a plea, in May.