Security

Wipro says employee charged with fraud committed suicide

A finance employee of Indian outsourcer Wipro Technologies Ltd. committed suicide shortly after the company confronted him in December for embezzling $4 million, a Wipro spokeswoman said.

Wipro’s handling of the issue has come in for criticism from analysts, since the company did not disclose that the person was dead when it discussed the alleged fraud last week. “I wish Wipro had handled this with more transparency than it has done,” said Sudin Apte, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc.

Wipro said last week that it was conducting internal investigations into alleged fraud by an employee who had gained access to a colleague’s online password and had embezzled funds for more than a year. It would decide later whether to file charges in the case, the company spokeswoman said last week. The company had managed to recover about 50% of the embezzled amount, she said.

It isn't unusual to have financial theft of the type mentioned by Wipro in any part of world, Apte said last week on the official Forrester blog, in response to questions from buyers of IT services.

That Wipro took over a year to detect the alleged fraud has however come in for criticism from analysts, including some at Forrester.

Wipro prides itself on process integrity but its image, to some extent, is tarnished by this instance, especially because the fraud went on unnoticed for a long period, Apte said.

Wipro does not have a track record of similar fraud, and the case does not mean it has a porous system, Apte said. The fraud was detected in Wipro’s internal finance section and does not impact any client data or money, he added.

Apte however concluded that the fraud at Wipro was a gentle reminder of the importance of IT security, and that evaluating vendors’ security standards is a must.

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