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Security Businesses Programming The Almighty Buck Verizon

Employee Outsourced Programming Job To China, Spent Days Websurfing 457

Posted by Soulskill
from the working-hard-or-hardly-working dept.
New submitter kju writes "The security blog of Verizon has the story of an investigation into unauthorized VPN access from China which led to unexpected findings. Investigators found invoices from a Chinese contractor who had actually done the work of the employee, who spent the day watching cat videos and visiting eBay and Facebook. The man had Fedexed his RSA token to the contractor and paid only about 1/5th of his income for the contracting service. Because he provided clean code on time, he was noted in his performance reviews to be the best programmer in the building. According to the article, the man had similar scams running with other companies."
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Employee Outsourced Programming Job To China, Spent Days Websurfing

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  • by Maow (620678) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:22AM (#42601375) Journal

    I'm a bit torn on TFS.

    On one hand, companies outsource "our" jobs with absolutely no remorse at all.

    On the other hand, ... fingers?

    • I'm a bit torn on TFS.

      On one hand, companies outsource "our" jobs with absolutely no remorse at all.

      On the other hand, ... fingers?

      On the other hand, many companies wouldn't mind... IF you told them what was going on. I'm guessing the major issue here is the omission of details by the employee.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:47AM (#42601473)

        well.. and the fact the employee here was collecting a 400% markup..

        employee did employer a favor.. proved his own job could be outsourced better at a fraction of his salary. fire the employee, keep the contractor.

        • by TheLink (130905) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:55AM (#42601667) Journal
          Was he using the same contractor for everything? If he wasn't then maybe he's a competent project manager with a good eye for talent.

          It's not so easy to get good results from outsourcing. So some of his 400% markup might be justified ;).
          • by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @12:28PM (#42604723) Homepage Journal

            It's not so easy to get good results from outsourcing. So some of his 400% markup might be justified ;).

            This man is my God!!!!

            Now....how can I implement something of this sort? Just need to learn my lessons where this guy screwed up.

            Ok, no unauthorized VPN's into the work network, do all that from home is a start.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by davester666 (731373)

              Yes, the contractor has to have a VPN connection to the employee's home. The employee needs to periodically upload the work from his home to the office. And maybe sometimes just forward the connection through his home as necessary for specific projects.

        • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @08:40AM (#42601825) Journal

          Yes, it's bad if the employee has 400% markup, but good business if the company does it.

        • by adrn01 (103810) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @08:52AM (#42601871)

          Employee is in wrong position, if was able to successfully find / hire / manage a highly competent programmer in China.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @08:54AM (#42601881)

            Maybe the Chinese programmer didn't do it himself either, but hired an Indian programmer for 1/5 of what he got ...

          • by Luckyo (1726890) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @09:50AM (#42602381)

            This was mt first thought as well. If employer's management has any common sense, at this point the man should be pushed into management ASAP. People who can do outsourcing that well are very rare.

          • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @10:16AM (#42602769)

            Employee is in wrong position, if was able to successfully find / hire / manage a highly competent programmer in China.

            I don't think you want this guy as your program manager. Look at the facts. He was paid $X and paid somebody to do his job for less. He isn't making any extra money and in fact is taking home less money than if he did the job himself (and since he isn't a business, he can't even deduct the outsourcing expense from taxable income). The guy still had to show up at work each day (where he would just surf the net), but his outsourcing activities didn't free him up to do other programming which would bring him additional revenue.

            No, the only reason to do something like this is because you are incompetent at the job you were hired for and need to cover that up, or you are an idiot because you are giving away a large chunk of your pay so you can surf the net. Neither of those are qualities that I would want in a manager.

            • by beowulfcluster (603942) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @10:34AM (#42602985)
              If you're only doing it at one place then you might be an idiot, but if as reported with this guy you're doing it at several jobs...? Suddenly you're taking home a lot more than you'd do if you were doing a real job yourself, and you're watching cat videos while doing it. If you have multiple clients who are all satisfied enough with the work your team does that they want to keep hiring you, what more do you need in a manager?
      • by kiddygrinder (605598) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:16AM (#42601565)
        yeah as if, i'm sure if i told my boss i was doing this they'd be so keen to keep paying me to do it rather than firing me and doing it themselves whilst keeping 4/5 of my salary.
        • by indeterminator (1829904) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:35AM (#42601613)

          my boss

          I quoted the problematic part. s/boss/client/ and all is well. Independent contractors do this all the time.

          Some other important things: (a) You want to get permission from your boss/client *before* making the arrangement. (b) You *don't* want to disclose the rate of your subcontractor to your boss/client. (c) You *definitely* don't want to send your *personal* RSA token and access credentials to your subcontractor.

      • by History's Coming To (1059484) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:28AM (#42601593) Journal
        The major issue is handing over access keys to a corporate VPN to a random bloke in another country. Frankly, I'm quite impressed with the general concept, but introducing a huge security breach isn't going to make you popular, he should have just had the guy email him code and the ctrl-V it himself, cutting the security breach out, he'd probably never have been caught unless there was something unexpected in the code.
        • by eulernet (1132389) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @09:13AM (#42601999)

          VPN is not really the problem, since VPN access tends to be quite limited in scope.

          I think that the main problem is that a random guy in China has a local copy of all the source code of the company.

          If access to the code required some NDA, the company is now in pretty deep shit.

          Anyway, kudos to the chinese guy, he seems to be a good coder and had to work at an unusual work schedule.

          • by dubbreak (623656) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @11:30AM (#42603759)

            VPN is not really the problem, since VPN access tends to be quite limited in scope.

            And my experience says the opposite. Whatever you'd have access to locally as a user you'd have over VPN. How would you do your job otherwise? The point of VPN is to make it a secure connection so you can have access to whatever you'd have access to locally.

            If the company has an NDA, is ISO registered, has to follow any government security protocol (I worked at a private Canadian company that followed US security regulations in order to sell to US gov) etc.. this could lead to trouble. Of course sweeping it under the rug would have been better than advertising it if that's the case.

            I agree on the kudos. Finding good people is tough enough locally. Outsourcing is hell. In a contracting type situation (as long as it didn't have a no substitution clause) this would have been perfectly ok (if not better than ok since it appears good code was actually written). The interesting part is whether the company would have paid the same had they known. They were quite willing to pay a wage of X when they thought it was the local guy producing the code, but my guess is they'd want to pay a small % of X for the Chinese worker even with this guy managing him. In reality, since he was producing the best code in the company, he should have been getting the biggest wage (reward your stars and all that).

    • There are other issues here.
      If the code is sensitive enough, an employer is willing to pay a lot more and keep the job in-house rather than outsource it. You want, as an employer, to have as much control as possible over someone who codes your financial software, for example.
      Also I'm sure that there are zounds of rules that were broken by this behavior.

    • by arth1 (260657) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @08:52AM (#42601873) Homepage Journal

      On one hand, companies outsource "our" jobs with absolutely no remorse at all.

      On the other hand, ... fingers?

      On the gripping hand, the problem is giving your personal RSA encryped access into a company's network to unidentified third parties.
      Perhaps this developer could provide his services for a fifth of the going rate because he also snooped around and collected and sold data.
      Clandestine data mining and illegal data bourses is no longer a SciFi concept; it happens every day.

      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        On one hand, companies outsource "our" jobs with absolutely no remorse at all.

        On the other hand, ... fingers?

        On the gripping hand, the problem is giving your personal RSA encryped access into a company's network to unidentified third parties.
        Perhaps this developer could provide his services for a fifth of the going rate because he also snooped around and collected and sold data.
        Clandestine data mining and illegal data bourses is no longer a SciFi concept; it happens every day.

        All of the problems that you list, while serious, are actually symptoms of a deeper problem. In short, this is really the tale of a dishonest employee and dishonest employees can do all sorts of damage in a company. People shouldn't marvel at how crafty he was, but instead how devious he was. If he was willing to do this, then what else was he willing to do or would he have done in the future, if not caught? Most people that embezzle funds (which this guy didn't do, but the principle applies) start with t

  • Outsourcing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Janek Kozicki (722688) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:23AM (#42601377) Journal
    Now, who is going to complain about job outsourcing? Market & economy have laws that can't be broken. No matter how hard some countries try to.
    • Re:Outsourcing (Score:5, Informative)

      by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:12AM (#42601545) Homepage

      Yeah something of a double-edged sword there. Of course their argument is about knowledge and all that, but in reality, many outsourced jobs go to contract companies who then sell the jobs out to other, unknown entities. All the companies out there having things made by slave children invariably claim no knowledge based on these types of practices.

      Also, outsourcing happens on our soils as well. I once spent some time with a company that sold our services to another company and the markup rate was 50% or more of what I was getting. I was rather disgusted at the notion. It was impossible for me to get that job, but by going through one of these companies, I could get it and there I was, "the same damned person."

      But we people routinely get angry at people who do the very same things we do... or we simply get angry at the wrong people. Case in point: A guy finds his woman has been with another man. The guy gets angry and goes after the other man. Say what?! This guy is doing what pretty much every other guy would do when it's being made available to them. Why get pissed off at another guy who is doing what you would be tempted to do? I wouldn't. The real problem was the woman and sometimes she is blamed and other times even forgiven. Ridiculous.

      So the business who is likely to outsource (call centers and stuff like that) finds one of its employees is paying someone else to do the work he was hired to do. On one hand, they shouldn't care. On the other, there are security concerns... sort of. If they thought he was a safe employee, they now know it was just an illusion like all of our other notions of being safe. (But we gave up our freedom, our right to self-defence and lots and lots of money to taxes and we're NOT safer? I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you!)

      Well, there is certainly much to talk about with regards to this and a lot of perspectives to weigh in. But most of us definitely feel companies like Verizon 'deserves' this though it would only make a difference if most everyone was doing this... which they aren't. Can't be. So, kudos to the scammer. May he never be given another job like this or in the industry again. You are scum just like the companies who outsource our jobs. It doesn't make it right when you do it, any more than when they do it. That they get upset when someone did it to them shows perfectly that they know what they are doing and who they are doing it to. That they feel justified in doing it while others shouldn't just shows their hypocrisy.

      • Re:Outsourcing (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:44AM (#42601645) Homepage

        Also, outsourcing happens on our soils as well. I once spent some time with a company that sold our services to another company and the markup rate was 50% or more of what I was getting. I was rather disgusted at the notion. It was impossible for me to get that job, but by going through one of these companies, I could get it and there I was, "the same damned person."

        If you would have gotten sick, died or otherwise unable to work, would you have been replaced at no additional cost?
        If your expertise wasn't up to the required standards, would you have been replaced at no additional cost?
        If you turn out to be a criminal, could they sue you for all damages or just a small fraction of it?
        It's all about insuring risks.

      • I once spent some time with a company that sold our services to another company and the markup rate was 50% or more of what I was getting. I was rather disgusted at the notion. It was impossible for me to get that job, but by going through one of these companies, I could get it and there I was, "the same damned person."

        By going through an agency, the employer can get rid of you more easily when the job is completed. Laying off employees is hard; not renewing a contract is easy. Also, part of the markup is for payroll overhead and benefits (if any), etc. You wouldn't get all of that even if you were a direct employee.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "Market & economy have laws that can't be broken"

      I can only conclude that you just awoke from a 5-year coma...

      glad to hear you're doing better!

  • Legality? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:24AM (#42601379)

    Aside from the security issues, is such a thing legal in the US? I mean, are you required by contract to do the work you are paid for yourself?

    • by kestasjk (933987) *
      Not usually, they typically pay someone to do a certain job by whatever means within the law when contracting.

      It would probably go against their IT policy though to allow someone else access to your account, and if he signed any NDAs or other IP agreements without getting the Chinese subcontractor to sign (which would still be pretty questionable) then he'll be in trouble.
      • by erroneus (253617)

        The IRS will have MUCH to say over this. Of that you can be sure.

        • The IRS will have MUCH to say over this. Of that you can be sure.

          I'm curious - why?

          The individual hired a Chinese consulting firm to produce code. The subcontracted agency seems like it would be outside the authority of the IRS.

        • by crizh (257304) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:35AM (#42601611) Homepage

          Presumably the cost of the sub-contractor is deductible?

          • by alphatel (1450715) *

            Presumably the cost of the sub-contractor is deductible?

            Absolutely 100%. Not only that but you can deduct other expenses like dry cleaning clothes to make it look like you were doing the work and the VPN used to migrate your subcontractor into the job site. Get a real crafty accountant and you should be able to keep every red cent.

            • Re:Legality? (Score:4, Insightful)

              by arth1 (260657) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @09:06AM (#42601951) Homepage Journal

              Get a real crafty accountant and you should be able to keep every red cent.

              The problem is that for most of us non-millionaires, what a real crafty accountant charges is more than what the IRS wants.

              Plus, of course, that when we pay taxes, we do get something back, like roads and police. The accountant, on the other hand, does not feed back to society; it is a parasite that is useful for the host, but bad for the species.

            • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

              Presumably the cost of the sub-contractor is deductible?

              Absolutely 100%. Not only that but you can deduct other expenses like dry cleaning clothes to make it look like you were doing the work and the VPN used to migrate your subcontractor into the job site. Get a real crafty accountant and you should be able to keep every red cent.

              That is true, only if the guy doing this is an employer, which he is not. It is possible that he set up his own separate company and filed all the paperwork with the State Department to hire foreign nationals, but it is unlikely. Since he is an employee and not an actual employer, then he has no legitimate business expenses to deduct.

              The danger for this guy, if he wants to go that route is that his real employer can then go after him for fraud, because he was running a business on their time, using their r

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:25AM (#42601385)

    Not only was he the most effective employee in the company but he was managing a successful software consulting service providing services to several other local companies. He delivered the goods. In fact he was more successful at managing software outsourcing than most large companies are.

  • But of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:26AM (#42601393)
    When corporations do it, it's efficient. When an actual human does it, it's a scam. Can this social order please collapse now? It's bankrupt.
    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @08:01AM (#42601693) Journal

      Take music. The CD's are produced in China to lower costs, this is legal. You buy them from China, ILLEGAL PIRACY!

      Outsource production, perfectly legal. Buy imports, pay max taxes including taxes on shipping PLUS a customs fee PLUS a fee for the shipping agency ON TOP of the shipment fee for it all... AND STILL it is often cheaper...

      The global economy is there to benefit the rich, not the poor.

      • The "poor" / ordinary people / employees are modern day slave force. With some extra perks (in many cases... they just modern slaves).

        You need to take them on a offer (a job) because you need money to live. However, especially in developed countries this is enough only to buy food and basic comfort. Like beer, cigarettes... in some countries not either that (on a daily basis I see cambodian slave workers (from 15 to 60, both male and female) making a building on +40c for 10 usd per day). In developed countr

  • by ebonum (830686) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:29AM (#42601415)

    You know all the stuff from China is cheap and poor quality. Bunch of lazy communists over there... "best programmer in the building" Oh wait. Never mind.

  • Subcontracting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gabrill (556503) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:30AM (#42601419)

    What's the problem? Does the employee contract have a clause against subcontracting?

    • Re:Subcontracting (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sesshomaru (173381) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:37AM (#42601437) Journal

      It sounds like it was an unauthorized access problem. Most companies you aren't allowed to let non-vetted people use their equipment or access their network.

      Of course, if he had brought his idea to the company and they had liked it, they'd have said, "Oh, ok, we'll fire you and hire him for a lower salary. Thanks for the idea."

      • Re:Subcontracting (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Yaa 101 (664725) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:54AM (#42601665) Journal

        Yes, and he should have copied the environment that gave access to his subcontractors and make the copied environment update at his employers environment by scripting.

        He was only half smart, his lazyness did him under.

        I appaud his idea as he did the same that most corporations do, but he was sloppy doing it.

    • What's the problem? Does the employee contract have a clause against subcontracting?

      That behavior could easily raise flags about improper handling of security procedures, confidentiality and dissemination of trade secrets.

    • Re:Subcontracting (Score:5, Insightful)

      by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:19AM (#42601575)
      Not until a Chinese company starts offering this company's product at 1/5 the price.
  • by fantomas (94850) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:38AM (#42601439)

    1. Large host organisation / government body requires programming done
    2. Subcontracting specialist organisation / other company/ freelancer / offers price to satisfy tasks
    3. Subcontractor chosen, price agreed, task allocated
    4. If task successfully completed than host organisation happy and continues with its bigger work, may call on smaller subcontractor for further work or even employ them on rolling contract

    Seems to me like this is just how contracting works. The guy was asked to produce code and he did.

    I can see there's a security issue here (unauthorised handing out of VPN) and *potential* legal issue (does his contract say he must do the work? if not then no legal issue perhaps), maybe a tax issue (were tax payments made to subcontractors etc. as should have been).... ...but generally it seems like he was just doing what lots of companies do, subcontracting work out to specialists and claiming a percentage for handling the work and taking the risk on its delivery.

      Not a lot different from how big companies work? and lets face it, big companies would NEVER put data security at risk or look for loopholes to avoid paying tax to the government, would they ? ;-)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:39AM (#42601449)

    When asked how he manages to code so well and seemingly spends so little effort on it, he said: time managing.

    Turns out what he actually ment was time spent managing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:48AM (#42601475)

    ...for this contractor who produces clean code, cheaply, on time?

    Just for...you know, research purposes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:58AM (#42601507)

    The real (and scary) message here is that the best programmer in the building was a chinese working for 1/5th of the usual programmer's income.

    Cheap, low quality asian workforce, indeed...

    • by hey! (33014) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @01:02PM (#42605255) Homepage Journal

      Well, my experience with Chinese goods is that they give the customer what he wants. If he wants quality, he gets quality. If he wants a shiny facade over a piece of crap, that's what he gets.

      What's important to note here is that the customer is seldom the end-user. It's usually a retailer, which accounts for the present day predominance of polished-turd products detouring in our homes on their way to the landfill. Once a product is sold and out of warranty, the retailer is happy if it needs replacement, and Chinese manufacturers have got planned obsolescence down to a science.

      The interesting wrinkle here is that the customer in this case may have had a higher interest in software quality than the corporation he worked for. It was his reputation on the line in the way his employer's reputation was not.

  • Just wondering whether the employee was fired, or promoted to the management.

  • Not news to me (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:12AM (#42601547)

    We did something like this more than 7 years ago.
    "We" being a team of developers in Eastern Europe. Our employers were two brothers who had moved to the US and had found IT jobs. We did their work for them and had time left over for side projects. Our team of 5 people got some fraction or other from their regular salaries and it was still a good wage for us. Things have changed in the last couple of years, but not by that much.

  • Not scam (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:13AM (#42601551) Homepage Journal

    Was doing his job, and better than anyone else there. And got plenty of free time doing it that way, that is efficiency. If instead of coding letter by letter he took a public domain code (to avoid messing with licenses) that do the same would be a not so different situation, mainly changed the timing related the code.

    But also gave to another party (that be the one that did his job is not relevant, that is overseas or in china in particular depend on your own prejudices) internal access to network/code/information without authorization. That is not scam, is a security breach, and shoudl be taken as seriously as all the other security breachs there (i.e. if he was so happy watching lolcats and visiting facebook and ebay probably others could have been doing it, and maybe sharing with the world even more internal/critical information, or downloading malware without being aware and so on)

  • by mseeger (40923) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:16AM (#42601563)

    The Onion already knew about this back in 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYaZ57Bn4pQ [youtube.com]

  • Alternative link (Score:4, Informative)

    by shortscruffydave (638529) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:17AM (#42601569)
    Seeing as the link given isn't working, there's a bit more detail at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/16/developer_oursources_job_china/ [theregister.co.uk]
  • Idiot (Score:5, Funny)

    by Migala77 (1179151) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:23AM (#42601583)
    I've outsourced all my Facebooking, slashdotting and cat-video-watching, so I can spend more time programming!
  • I call bullshit. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tofarr (2467788) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:36AM (#42601615)
    This story sets off my bullshit radar. Too many things about it don't make sense: 1.) Why would "Bob" give full access to company resources to subcontractors? Were I to subcontract a job, at the very least I would want to review everything before it was committed - especially if I was taking responsibility for it. 2.) What would happen if a colleague asked "Bob" about his code? Or as regularly happens on all but the smallest of tasks he had to collaborate closely with another fellow developer? There is a level of knowledge that you get from being part of a development process that you don't get otherwise. This sounds to me like an advertisement for outsourcing services.
  • Bellman (Score:5, Informative)

    by water-vole (1183257) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:41AM (#42601627)
    The 18th century Swedish poet Carl Michael Bellman did something similar. The king of the time (Gustav III) liked his songs and gave him a really cushy job as head of the state lottery. Bellman new he would not be able to hold down a job so he employed someone else to actually do the work and he lived from the difference of what he got from the king and what he paid the person doing the work. He spent most of his time in pubs and wrote an enormous number of drinking songs. He is the Swedish equivalent of Robert Burns.
  • by moniker127 (1290002) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:42AM (#42601633)
    Good coders copy, great coders outsource.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:43AM (#42601639) Homepage

    He should have been less of a moron and set up linux boxes at his home for the china contractors to VPN in through.

  • by ayahner (696000) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:57AM (#42601677)
    When they realize they canned their "best programmer"
  • Summary fix (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Legion303 (97901) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @08:11AM (#42601721) Homepage

    Company gets butthurt when lowly employee dares to do the exact same thing they've been doing for decades. Film at 11.

  • by jkrise (535370) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @08:13AM (#42601735) Journal

    1. Programmers in the US are worth the money corporations spend on them.
    2. China and India are full of crappy programmers who can't understand specs, cannot correspond in English, let alone produce quality code.
    3. The value of the US currency is a true measure of its worth in global markets.
    4. US corporations are killing US jobs despite the fact outsourcing produces lesser quality goods and services.

    I know the plural of anecdote is not data, but still...

  • 'Bob" is gone. (Score:5, Informative)

    by andydread (758754) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @09:09AM (#42601973)
    "Hello this is Joe, Bob's boss. Bob is no longer available to correspond with you on this project. I will be handling all correspondence with you from now on. I will be responsible for sending the payments of the sum that you and Bob agreed to. You can contact me at joe@dev.verizon.com ...."

If a subordinate asks you a pertinent question, look at him as if he had lost his senses. When he looks down, paraphrase the question back at him.

Working...