‘Used accounts and passwords of other employees to embezzle digital currency’ — DoJ
A man who formerly worked at Microsoft was convicted of 18 federal felonies after he stole $10 million worth of digital currency from his former employer.
From the U.S. Department of Justice:
Seattle – A former Microsoft software engineer was convicted today in U.S. District Court in Seattle of 18 federal felonies related to his scheme to defraud Microsoft of more than $10 million, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. VOLODYMYR KVASHUK, 25, a Ukrainian citizen residing in Renton, Washington, worked first as a contractor at Microsoft and then as an employee from August 2016 until he was fired in June 2018. Today, following a five-day trial, 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. When sentenced by U.S. District Judge James L. Robart on June 1, 2020, KVASHUK faces up to twenty years in prison.
According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, KVASHUK was involved in the testing of Microsoft’s online retail sales platform, and used that testing access to steal “currency stored value” such as digital gift cards. KVASHUK resold the value on the internet, using the proceeds to purchase a $1.6 million dollar lakefront home and a $160,000 Tesla vehicle. Initially, KVASHUK started stealing smaller amounts totaling about $12,000 in value using his own account access. As the thefts escalated into millions of dollars of value, KVASHUK used test email accounts associated with other employees. KVASHUK, a knowledgeable software developer, 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. In all, over the seven months of KVASHUK’s illegal activity, approximately $2.8 million in bitcoin was transferred to his bank accounts. KVASHUK then filed fake tax return forms, claiming the bitcoin had been a gift from a relative.
In closing arguments, Assistant United States Attorney Siddharth Velamoor said KVASHUK “hid behind his colleagues’ names…. dripping fraud and deceit every step of the way…. This is a simple case… anyway you look at it this is a crime of greed.”
KVASHUK testified at trial that he did not intend to defraud Microsoft. He claimed to be working on a special project to benefit the company.
That testimony was, “A house of lies on top of a previous house of lies,” Assistant United States Attorney Michael Dion told the jury.
The jury deliberated about five hours before returning the guilty verdicts.
“In addition to stealing from Microsoft, Volodymyr Kvashuk also stole from the government by concealing his fraudulent income and filing false tax returns. Kvashuk’s grand scheme was thwarted by the hard-work of IRS-CI’s Cyber Crimes Unit. Criminals who think they can avoid detection by using cryptocurrency and laundering through mixers are put on notice…you will be caught and you will be held accountable,” said IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Korner.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation’s Western Area Cyber Crime Unit and the U.S. Secret Service.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Dion and Siddharth Velamoor.
A woman who was heavily intoxicated was arrested on a Saturday flight from Frankfurt to Washington, D.C., after she tried to smoke a cigarette in the plane bathroom, and blurted out that her whole family was recently killed in a car accident, none of which was true, say federal prosecutors.
A man found a hidden GPS tracking device on his car. He removed it, and the police who put it there were so mad they arrested him for theft of government property. But a judge in Indiana found the man not guilty, reports Ars Technica: But at trial, [Derek] Heuring’s lawyers argued that the warrant […]
Gerald Corrigan, 74, went outside his house at midnight to check his satellite dish after the TV signal failed. It was a trap: he was shot in the dark with a crossbow bolt, which punctured internal organs and led to his death three weeks later from sepsis. His killer was Terence Whall, 39, convicted today […]
With so many advancements in modern society, you’d think we’d have moved beyond the butane lighter by now. A pressurized, flammable gas, butane fumes can irritate your eyes and skin, can elevate your heart rate, and even lead to cardiac arrest. And we did mention that whole highly pressurized and flammable part, right? While certainly […]
Is it just us, or does it feel like winter hasn’t been as horrendous as usual this year? Well, stats show it’s actually been one of the warmer winters on record so far this year for many eastern U.S. cities in January and February. But, almost on cue, weather experts warn signs of a serious […]
While mobile devices are all but essential and the center of so many individual universes these days, find one person who loves their wireless plan with that type of passion. Check around. We’ll wait… Didn’t find anybody, did you? That’s because most wireless plans are designed for the convenience of the provider and will nickel-and-dime […]