back to article Water utility auditor resigns, transfers $9m offshore

California and federal officials are searching for a former employee of a large water utility who is suspected of trying to transfer more than $9m to an offshore account after quitting the company. Abdirahman Ismail Abdi made the brazen transfers on April 27, just hours after resigning from the California Water Services …


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  1. Pete Silver badge

    Sounds like a sucess story to me

    > It would appear that Abdi's plan may not have succeeded

    His wire transfers failed - isn't that what safeguards and IT security are supposed to produce.

    Really the headline for this story should be "IT security and anti-fraud procedures work as designed", but of course that sort of good-news story wouldn't sucker-in the readership, so instead we get a headline that makes us think someone got away with it - when in fact they didn't.

  2. Dave

    Access Card

    So why was his keycard still working? That should have been handed in as he left the premises for the last time. There's your fundamental security breach, they let him back on the premises.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Let me guess, he was Amish?

  4. Mike T
    Thumb Down




    "yet to explain how a former employer could gain access to some of its most sensitive"

    shouldn't that be s/employer/employee/?

  5. James
    Thumb Up

    @Pete, first post.

    Thumbs up. Stick it to the man (Register).

  6. Throatwobbler Mangrove

    I wonder...

    ...would Abdi consider a career in Westminster? He seems well-qualified for the job if only he could get over his instinct to run away after stealing money - that sort of behaviour suggests he knew it was wrong and is therefore not suited to MPs.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cue the

    puns about 'liquid assets'.

  8. Darling Petunia

    Private Water Co.s

    As a resident to California area (unincorporated) suffering under the ever increasing bills from a private water company, I am firmly convinced that greed and water (a necessity of life) do not mix. All water systems must be government owned/controlled. By the people and for the people. Ask the folks in Bolivia.

  9. Adam Williamson
    Thumb Down

    New Westminster?

    As a resident of Vancouver, I'm just scratching my head trying to figure out why anyone with $9m would do a bunk to New West...

  10. Jean-Luc

    Uh, no, not really a great success

    Sounds like the bank had a clue, stopping the transfer.

    Abdi didn't - you want to fraud quietly, accumulate some cash and then Madoff with the loot.

    And the utility sure as hell didn't have a clue if they somehow let him attempt those transfers from their secured buildings. Once your employment is done, you really should be escorted off site pretty quickly and all sensitive IT access shut off. It happened to me, and I could quite easily understand the reasons, even though it felt cold blooded. You are henceforth a guest, to be treated nicely, but a guest nevertheless. Sensitive IT work is predicated on trust, to an extent, and you really can't trust someone in this kind of situation.

    I'm glad this got reported - insider risks are big, but do not result in much $ for software vendors so tendencies are to hype the latest security buzztech instead.

    But hey, New West, BC, is in my 'hood so maybe I'll see Amdi around.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Joe Blogs

    Water shame

    that is all

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Liked the plan...

    Pack the wife and kids and send them off to Frankfurt. Leave California and head to New Westminster...

    I bet he had a bit on the side there!

    --Ronnie Biggs

  14. Frank

    A Big Misunderstanding

    This is obviously all a big misunderstanding. He's an auditor and what he's doing is checking the company procedures for dealing with resignation of staff. He's carrying out activities intended to excercise and stress those procedures so find put where the weak points are. He can probably produce an e-mail from someone asking him to audit procedures.

    OK, he's got a bit carried away and has extended the test to external banks and police agencies, but this is good, it shows he is keen and committed to doing a really good job of this test. There are many links between a company and external organisations and these links have to be tested.

    When he's finally apprehended, he'll ask the arresting officer to sign and date the corresponding item on the test script and that will be the end of it.

  15. Luther Blissett

    Plenty of treasure here - no digging required

    For anyone who wants to compare and contrast (do we remember how to do that?) this with the Madoff case.

  16. Inachu


    Daddy why is your hand missing?

    I stole from my employer and they sent sharia thugs to get revenge.


    This needs to happen to spyware and malware makers.

  17. Dave
    Dead Vulture


    How exactly did he resign?

    If he left a sealed letter on his manager's desk, after said manager had left for the day, then it is hardly a big surprise that his access had not yet been revoked. If 'resigned' is the usual euphemism for marched out of the building kicking and screaming, then a little bit more blame can reasonably be assigned to the employer, but seriously, what was to stop him doing all of this, and then resigning five minutes later? Not really much different is it?

    Nor does it have much to do with IT - in the old days, if he had that much responsibility, he would have walked down to the bank and asked for the cash, and as a long standing customer would have been given it without question.

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