TL;DR: Now former Microsoft engineer Volodymyr Kvashuk was recently convicted of more than a dozen charges involving embezzlement of over $10 million in cryptocurrencies. Kvashuk used his ill-gotten gains, according to the Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Washington, to purchase luxury items such as a lakefront home and a Tesla.
Microsoft Engineer Embezzled $10 Million in Crypto
Volodymyr Kvashuk, 25, is a native and citizen of Ukraine, according to a detention order from the middle of last year, and had been living in the US since 2015. He worked for Microsoft as a contractor when he was picked up by authorities on mail fraud charges which apparently involved using “a simulated consumer purchase testing program to obtain property and digital currency from Microsoft, and then sold or redeemed the property and currency for financial gain of approximately $10 million,” the order documented.
The US government argued at the time Kvashuk was a flight risk due to at least two factors: a lack of formal extradition treaty with Ukraine and that “over $7 million is unaccounted for” in terms of his alleged embezzled crypto, which included BTC and other unnamed coins. He worked as a contractor and then a formal employee at Microsoft for slightly under two years, and was eventually fired in June of 2018.
On Tuesday, February 25, 2020 Kvashuk “was convicted of five counts of wire fraud, six counts of money laundering, two counts of aggravated identity theft, two counts of filing false tax returns, and one count each of mail fraud, access device fraud, and access to a protected computer in furtherance of fraud,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office detailed. He faces 20 years in prison, and will be sentenced on June 1, 2020.
Apparently, his scheme involved digital gift cards and access to Microsoft’s online retail platform. He used “the proceeds to purchase a $1.6 million dollar lakefront home and a $160,000 Tesla vehicle.” Interestingly, the government also insisted Kvashuk “attempted to mask digital evidence that would trace the fraud and the internet sales back to him. He used a bitcoin ‘mixing’ service in an attempt to hide the source of the funds ultimately passing into his bank account.”
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