March 28, 2012

Soldier stole Microsoft co-founder's ID

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in December 2011.
AP Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in December 2011.

PITTSBURGH - A U.S. soldier's scheme to defraud one of the world's richest men has landed him in federal custody.

In a criminal complaint unsealed Monday, federal investigators allege Brandon Lee Price changed the address on a bank account held by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, then had a debit card sent to his home so he could use it for payments on a delinquent Armed Forces Bank account and personal expenses.

Price was absent without leave at the time.

Price called Citibank in January and changed the address on an account held by Allen from Seattle to Pittsburgh, then called back three days later to say he'd lost his debit card and asked for a new one to be sent to him, an FBI investigator wrote in a criminal complaint filed in February.

The card was used to attempt a $15,000 Western Union transaction and to make a $658.81 payment on the Armed Forces Bank loan account the day it was activated, according to the complaint. Surveillance footage captured Price trying to make purchases at a video game store and a dollar store, authorities alleged.

Investigators found Price was listed as absent without leave from the Army and wanted as a deserter, authorities said in the complaint. He was arrested March 2 and ordered detained until April 2 unless the Army takes him into custody.

An email to Price's public defender wasn't immediately returned Tuesday.

Allen made the bulk of his fortune founding Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975. He left the company in 1983. He is the founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc., the company that manages his business and charitable undertakings. Forbes estimates Allen's net worth at $14.2 billion.

WPXI-TV first reported Price's arrest.

by Associated Press Mar 27, 2012

Soldier stole Microsoft co-founder's ID

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