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Ex-Cisco executive in federal custody By John Geralds in Silicon Valley [10-05-2002] Suicide attempt followed alleged $20m fraud

Missing since early April, the ex-Cisco vice president fired for allegedly defrauding the company of as much as $20m, has been found and ordered to undergo a court-imposed psychiatric evaluation.

Robert S Gordon was found unconscious on 30 April after ingesting a combination of drugs and attempting to asphyxiate himself with gas from a stove, according to court records filed this week in San Jose.

The 43 year-old, who appeared in court confined to a wheelchair, had been close to a plea arrangement with prosecutors.

Assistant US Attorney Scott Frewing argued that Gordon was likely to make an escape attempt and should receive a psychiatric evaluation in a federal prison medical facility.

Frewing told the court that Gordon had been withdrawing as much as $1m, which he gave to his girlfriend in March in preparation for his flight from justice.

Defence lawyers insisted, however, that the money transfers were part of an effort to distribute his assets before killing himself.

Gordon’s case will remain open until the psychiatric evaluation is completed, which his lawyers said could take more than a month.

A federal grand jury indicted Gordon last year, alleging that he orchestrated two schemes to defraud Cisco.

One involved the diversion of millions of shares of Cisco-owned stock into an offshore shell company, and the other was designed to channel money to Gordon himself from a Cisco-affiliated startup.

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