A US court has sentenced Ukrainian national and former Microsoft programmer Volodymyr Kvashuk to nine years in prison for stealing over $ 10 million in digital value from his colleagues.
Kvashuk worked at Microsoft from August 2016 until he was fired in June 2018.
Kvashuk was involved in the testing of Microsoft’s online retail sales platform. The defendant was reselling gift cards on the Internet using his official position.
In this regard, Kvashuk used the accounts and personal data of his work colleagues to steal and sell cards through their profile, hoping that his colleagues would be held responsible for the fraud.
Kvashuk also used a Bitcoin mixing service to further obfuscate the paper trail, telling the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that the $2.8 million worth of crypto that passed through his accounts gifts had been sent from a relative.
– Over the seven months of Kvashuk’s illegal activity, approximately $2.8 million in Bitcoin were transferred to his bank and investment accounts. Kvashuk then filed fake tax return forms, claiming the Bitcoin had been a gift from a relative, – said in a statement the US Department of Justice.
IRS special agent Ryan Korner said the sentencing is «the nation’s first Bitcoin case that has a tax component to it».
– Today’s sentencing proves you cannot steal money via the Internet and think that Bitcoin is going to hide your criminal behaviors, – noted Corner
Kvashuk has been found guilty of 18 federal crimes, including money laundering and false tax filing charges.
He used the proceeds to purchase a $1.6 million dollar lakefront home and a $160,000 Tesla vehicle.
The court ordered Kvashuk to pay $ 8.3 million in restitution. He may be deported following his prison term.