A former Microsoft engineer stole more than R150 million from the company and bought a home and a Tesla
- A former Microsoft software engineer has been convicted of 18 federal felonies for stealing more than $10 million (about R155 million) from his former employer.
- Volodymyr Kvashuk, who worked at Microsoft from 2016 to 2018, stole "currency stored value," like online gift cards, and resold them online.
- Kvashuk used the money to buy a $1.6 million (R24 million) lakefront home and a $160,000 (R2 million) Tesla.
- He's now facing up to 20 years in prison.
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A former Microsoft software engineer has been convicted of stealing $10 million (R155 million) worth of digital currency from his former employer.
Volodymyr Kvashuk - who worked at Microsoft from August 2016 to June 2018, first as a contractor, then as a full-time employee - was convicted Tuesday in the US District Court in Seattle following a five-day trial, according to the US Attorney's Office.
The court found Kvashuk had stolen "currency stored value," like online gift cards, during his time testing the retail sales platform on Microsoft's website. He then resold the currency in exchange for bitcoin and used the money to buy a lakefront home for $1.6 million (R24 million) and a Tesla that cost $160,000 (R2 million) - likely a Model X, given the price.
"When we learned of this misconduct we investigated, terminated his employment, and then referred the matter to law enforcement," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider. "The US Department of Justice conducted their own investigation and prosecution, which resulted in a guilty verdict."
Kvashuk had about $2.8 million (R43 million) in bitcoin sent to him over a seven-month span, and he intentionally concealed how much money was coming into his accounts by using a bitcoin mixing service, which is used to ensure that transactions can't be traced. Kvashuk claimed the bitcoin was a gift from family when he filed his tax returns, according to the US Attorney.
Kvashuk was fired from Microsoft in June 2018, after Microsoft discovered the thefts. He was arrested and charged with mail fraud in July 2019, and has now been convicted of 18 federal felonies, including:
- Five counts of wire fraud
- Six counts of money laundering
- Two counts of aggravated identity theft
- Two counts of filing false tax returns
- One count each of mail fraud, access device fraud, and access to a protected computer in furtherance of fraud.
He faces up to 20 years in prison.
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