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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Thick as Thieves: The Private (and very profitable) World of Corporate Spying

By Tom Burghardt

(The Intelligence Daily) -- When Comverse Infosys founder and CEO Jacob "Kobi" Alexander fled to Israel and later Namibia in 2006, the former Israeli intelligence officer and entrepreneur took along a little extra cash for his extended "vacation"--$57 million to be precise.


According to investigative journalist James Bamford's exposé of the National Security Agency, The Shadow Factory, Alexander was facing a thirty-two-count indictment by the Justice Department "charging him with masterminding a scheme to backdate millions of Comverse stock options ... that allowed Alexander to realize $138 million in profits--profits stolen from the pockets of the company's shareholders."


When the scandal broke, one former colleague told The New York Times, "The one thing about Kobi is that he did have a sense of entitlement," said Stephen R. Kowarsky, who was an executive at Comverse from 1985-97. "Most people are a little bit shy or self-effacing about asking for something, but not Kobi. It was easy for him to say, 'I want that. I deserve that.'"


Sounds like business as usual to me!



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