A former Microsoft software engineer has been sentenced to nine years in prison for 18 federal felonies related to his scheme to defraud Microsoft of more than $10 million, the Department of Justice (KoJ) reported today.
Volodymyr Kvashuk is a 26-year-old Ukrainian citizen who began working with Microsoft as a contractor and then as a full-time employee from August 2016 until his termination in June 2018. Case records and testimony indicate Kvashuk was involved with testing Microsoft's online retail sales platform and used his access to steal "currency stored value" (CSV) like digital gift cards.
Initially, he stole smaller amounts – about $12,000 total – using his own account access. Over time, as his thefts grew into millions, Kvashuk used test email accounts associated with other Microsoft employees. He tried to conceal evidence that would trace the fraud back to him and used a bitcoin mixing service to hide the source of funds going into his accounts. In the seven months of his illicit activity, about $2.8 million was sent to his bank and investment accounts.
In February 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.
At trial, Kvashuk testified he did not intend to defraud Microsoft and claimed to be "working on a special project to benefit the company," the DoJ reports. He was ordered to pay $8.34 million in restitution and may be deported following his prison term, officials state.
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