The former director of sports marketing and alliances at US technology giant Microsoft has been charged with five counts of wire fraud in a case that includes illicit reselling of tickets to the Super Bowl, the showpiece end of season game of American football league the NFL.

Jeff Tran is set to be arraigned on the charges, with a federal grand jury finding that he had used his position at Microsoft to attempt to steal more than $1.5m (£1.15m/€1.3m) through the creation and submission of fraudulent invoices and the unauthorised use of other company assets.

According to the allegations in the indictment, Tran oversaw Microsoft’s commercial partnership with the NFL. The indictment alleges that in March 2017, Tran caused a fraudulent $775,000 invoice to be issued to Microsoft, supposedly for services related to the 2017 Super Bowl.

The indictment also alleges that Tran stole blocks of Super Bowl tickets belonging to Microsoft. Because of his position, Tran was responsible for determining which employees would receive Microsoft Super Bowl tickets.

However, instead of distributing all of the tickets to Microsoft employees, Tran sold over 60 of the tickets through a ticket broker and pocketed more than $200,000.

Commenting on the case, a Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge website: “When we learned of Mr. Tran’s conduct we investigated, terminated his employment, and then referred the matter to law enforcement.”

Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison in the US.

Image: Kristi Machado