The software developer, in his 40s, is thought to have spent his workdays surfing the web, watching cat videos on YouTube and browsing Reddit and eBay.
He reportedly paid just a fifth of his six-figure salary to a company based in Shenyang to do his job.
Operator Verizon says the scam came to light after the US firm asked it for an audit, suspecting a security breach.
According to Andrew Valentine, of Verizon, the infrastructure company requested the operator's risk team last year to investigate some anomalous activity on its virtual private network (VPN) logs.
Read more at the BBC