Ex-Comverse exec traced via VOIP call
Kobi Alexander, the former CEO of scandal-ridden tech firm Comverse, fled the United States earlier in the month in the face of an options-backdating investigation. But now he's been tracked down in Sri Lanka, apparently by a private eye working for unidentified hedge funds and/or venture capital firms.
Oh, the wrath of hedgies and VCs scorned. For those new to the story, Alexander, once known as the "Larry Ellison of Israel", built Comverse from startup to a tech powerhouse with over $1 billion in sales. Though worth well over a hundred million dollars himself, Alexander was apparently unwilling to face up to charges related to $6.4 million in improperly backdated options -- so he wired $57 million to a bank account in Israel and disappeared from the U.S. But, perhaps uneasy over Israel's extradition treaty with the U.S., Alexander decided to take up residence in the small Sri Lankan town of Negombo. (Isn't there a civil war raging in that country? Alexander seems to be leaping from the frying pan into the fire.)
But here's the real moral of the story for would-be fugitives: Think twice before you place a VOIP call while on the lam. It seems the VC's private eye had no trouble tracing Alexander's furtive VOIP communications to Negombo. Sounds like using Skype, despite its encryption features, was a bad call.
Or maybe the private eye moonlights as a PR for agonizing telecom companies.
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