Ex-Microsoft engineer arrested for stealing $10 million worth of cryptocurrency from tech giant

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July 18, 2019
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Well, it appears that when you become a thief, it’s easy to get a new electric car and lakefront house but you would eventually get caught.

A former Microsoft employee has been arrested for allegedly plotting to steal $10 million worth of digital currency from Microsoft’s online store to purchase redeemable gift cards, as reported by The Register.

The 25-year-old Ukrainian national, Volodymyr Kvashuk, is allegedly linked with worst internal fraud in Microsoft’s history as he used the mail fraud tactics to buy a $160,000 Tesla car and a $1.7 million lakefront home. Kvashuk was dismissed from the company in June 2018 and soon after that, he started plotting his fraud scheme to steal from the tech giant. As per details, $2.8 million was found to have been transferred into his bank accounts during the last seven months.

Notably, Kvashuk is accused of stealing cryptocurrency gift cards that were redeemable against Microsoft products and then reselling them at a huge profit to buyers on the internet. According to the United States attorney’s office in Seattle, the suspect had helped with Microsoft’s testing of its online retail sales platform back in 2016.

According to reports, Kvashuk allegedly tried to cover his tracks by using Bitcoin “mixing services” before depositing money from the sales into his bank account. These mixing services are potentially used to shuffle cryptocurrency in such a unique way that makes it quite difficult to trace transactions.

As the stolen amount extends to millions of dollars in value, it is likely that Kvashuk may have used multiple accounts including those associated with other employees as well. 

According to the Department of Justice, the investigations of the case are now conducted by the US secret service and the cybercrime unit of the US Internal Revenue Service. Kvashuk could face up to 20 years imprisonment and $250,000 fine if proved guilty in court.

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