A U.S. court in Seattle has sentenced a former Microsoft engineer to 9 years in prison after finding him guilty of 18 federal felonies relating to his elaborate scheme to defraud the tech giant $10 million. In passing the judgment, the court blasts Volodymyr Kvashuk, a software engineer and citizen of Ukraine, for attempting to mask digital evidence through the use of bitcoin mixers and the illegal use of accounts and passwords of fellow employees to aid this scheme.
According to court records, Kvashuk, a citizen of Ukraine, had been convicted in February 2020 on several counts of wire fraud, money laundering, identity theft as well the filing of false tax returns.
In his reaction to the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Brian T Moran pays homage to â€œlaw enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorneyâ€™s Officeâ€ for prevailing in the case that â€œrequired sophisticated, technological skills to investigate and prosecute.â€ Commenting on the severity of the punishment, the U.S. Attorney says:
â€œStealing from your employer is bad enough, but stealing and making it appear that your colleagues are to blame widens the damage beyond dollars and cents.â€
According to documents filed with the court, Kvashuk, who was involved in the testing of Microsoftâ€™s online retail sales platform, is accused of â€œusing that testing access to steal â€˜currency stored valueâ€™ (CSV) such as digital gift cards.â€
Using proceeds from the gift card sales, Kvashuk â€œpurchased a $1.6 million dollar lakefront home and a $160,000 Tesla vehicle.â€ As the thefts escalated, Kvashuk started â€œusing test email accounts associated with other employeesâ€ to cover his tracks. The document adds:
Meanwhile, in their sentencing memo, the prosecutors pan Kvashuk for the brazen acts which â€œcast other Microsoft employees under the glare of suspicion.â€ They also accuse Kvashuk of failing to take responsibility after he told the court a â€œseries of outrageous liesâ€ while failing to show â€œany remorse or regret for his crimes.â€
As part of his punishment, Kvashuk â€œwas ordered to pay $8,344,586 in restitutionâ€ while he faces the possibility of being â€œdeported following his prison term.â€
What are your thoughts on Kvashukâ€™s conviction and sentencing? Share your views in the comments section below.
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