Sunday, November 22, 2009

USPTO employee who stole from deposit accounts gets prison time

Back in August 2009, the story of a corrupt USPTO employee was mentioned:

Minister pleads guilty to stealing $500K from U.S. patent office

Reid coordinated with a patent office employee, referred to as "K.L.P." in court documents, to have $451,252 transmitted from patent office accounts to a Redeemed Music House bank account, he admitted.

[See IPBiz post: }

In stories coming out in Nov. 09, the employee is identified as Karen L. Parish:

Karen L. Parish worked at the patent office until 2005. By the time she left, she and Michael Reid had used Reid's company, Redeemed Music House LLC, to funnel $534,338 from dormant patent office accounts used by businesses to cover patent application costs, the two admitted earlier this year.

The story is sad:

The costs of raising a daughter and other expenses left Parish about $8,000 behind in her taxes. Her wages were garnished and she was coming up short on her electric bill.
That's when Parish took a close look at the patent office's refund process for the dormant accounts, she said in the statement. She knew she needed someone else in on the scheme or she would be quickly discovered. The only person Parish could trust was Reid, and she was able to convince him to get involved, she wrote.
"I remember the first time I took money from the Deposit Account, I felt almost like a prostitute," Parish wrote.

from Minister gets prison time for stealing $500K from U.S. patent office

**from Woman sentenced for embezzlement :

A Woodbridge woman was sentenced Friday [20 Nov 09] to serve 18 months in federal prison for embezzling more than $500,000 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Karen L. Parish, 39, of Woodbridge, pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for the scheme.
She was also ordered to pay $527,478.55 in restitution.

**from oig:

“This case underscores the importance of strong internal controls. It also emphasizes the significant need to stress integrity as a core value within the Federal workforce,” said Inspector General Todd Zinser of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Zinser also praised new management in PTO’s Office of Financial Management for “identifying and reporting financial irregularities, which eventually led to this conviction.”

**As a blast from the past from the USPTO website -->

Questions regarding deposit accounts should be directed to Karen Parish
at (703) 305-4636. Questions regarding patent maintenance fees should be
directed to the Maintenance Fee Branch at (703) 308-5068 or (703)

Questions or comments concerning this notice should be forwarded to
Matthew Lee by telephone at (703) 305-8051, by e-mail at, by facsimile at (703) 305-8007, or by mail marked
to his attention and addressed to the Commissioner of Patents and
Trademarks, Office of Finance, Crystal Park 1, Suite 802, Washington,
D.C. 20231.

Dec. 28, 1999 Q. TODD DICKINSON
Assistant Secretary of Commerce and
Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks

Good advice from Q. Todd!


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