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US man busted for outsourcing his own job

A US man has been busted for outsourcing his own job to China.

The entrepreneurial employee paid a Chinese contractor a fifth of his six-figure salary to do his software development work, then spent his workdays browsing YouTube, eBay and Facebook.

Phone company Verizon was called after the man's employer - described as a "critical intrastructure company" - noticed frequent connections from Shenyang, China, to the man's workstation.

It suspected malware, or some kind of hacker attack.

But a Verizon risk assessment team discovered hundreds of invoices on the man's PC from a Shenyang contractor, the BBC reports.

According to Help Net Security, the company's HR department had found nothing wrong with the scammer's work (or at least that done on his behalf). 

In fact it "consistently gave him glowing performance reviews because he apparently wrote clean code and submitted it on time."

The offender is described as an "inoffensive and quiet family man." 

He was also well organised, perpetuating the scam across several employers at once to pull in hundreds of thousands in salary a year, while paying Chinese contractors around $US50,000.

Comments and questions

The very essence of capitalism.

Good for him.

Well played, sir, well played.

Reads like a Dilbert cartoon.

I agree with Welldone. That is the very essence of capitalism. How is it when an individual does it, he is a scammer, yet when a company does it it is a good business decision?

The work was completed on time, and was of good quality. Working smart beats working hard any day.

Hmmm, let's see. Providing secure access into your employer's systems to an unknown person (or persons) in China. Yep, damn right, I'd have had him fired, too.

Roughly equivalent to your local daycare outsourcing child minding to some hobos they got in off the street.

Yes, the security breach deserved the firing - not the outsourcing. Probably couldn't outsource without breaching confidentiality obligations anyway.

On the face of it, I agree with Alan but I'm also wary that there is more to the story. The article says he was doing the same thing with several employers, so short of cloning he must have been working remote with some degree of autonomy. He had to have been on contract otherwise the IRS would have changed his tax code and it would have been obvious to all employers. And if he was worked under false names, the media would have pounced on it. So it is difficult to speculate with so little information. Apart from the obvious security risk with it being China, if it was, in fact, mainland China.

Yanks will do anything to avoid working for their pay. Fire him. It's fried but ballsie.

Ha, ha! This is awesome. Maybe I should outsource my 15,000km walk from Beijing to London that will be live-streamed over social media and live-streamed at various points. See: for more information.

I think this guy must have read The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris.

He proposes outsourcing everything that you can.

His Four Hour Body is a much better read.

Sounds like the guy has a bright future with all those reliable Chinese coders on the books ... he just needs to set up his own a software contracting company.

He was only operating to the new "global market" economy.

He outsourced the work but still carried the accountability for it, which is the difference between the two remunerations.

Would be interesting to know if the company got rid of him, then kept the outsourcing arrangements that he set up in place.

I agree with #10. He should set up his own business, using the connections he developed, then manage the outsourcing for other companies.

Why on earth didn't they promote him, sack 10 other US-based developers and get him to see if his Chinese mate had another 20 like him? Sounds like his managers might be the ones that need to be reviewed.

I am pretty sure that him watching cat videos on YouTube all the time would have been logged by his company's IT department.