A former Microsoft software engineer found guilty earlier this year has been sentenced to nine years in prison for stealing more than $10 million in Bitcoin. The 26-year old Ukrainian used accounts and passwords of other employees and the services of various Bitcoin mixers.
Nine Years In Prison For Stealing $10M In BTC
As reported by CryptoPotato year, the US District Court in Seattle found guilty Volodymyr Kvashuk on 18 charges. He operated as a software engineer in the US multinational technology giant Microsoft from August 2016 until he was fired in June 2018.
The initial US Department of Justice Court Ruling asserted that the Ukrainian could face up to twenty years in prison. However, the DOJ’s statement from yesterday said that he will spend nine years behind bars.
Kvashuk used his position in Microsoft’s online retail sales program to steal “currency stored value (CSV)” such as digital gift cards. Firstly, he stole smaller amounts of up to $12,000 using his own account access. He decided to blame it on his colleagues by using their accounts and passwords once the funds escalated into millions of dollars.
Ultimately, Kvashuk sent millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin to his personal accounts and employed BTC mixers to hide the sources.
“Stealing 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. This case required sophisticated technological skills to investigate and prosecute, and I am pleased that our law enforcement partners and the US Attorney’s Office have the skill sets needed to bring such offenders to justice.” – commented US Attorney Brian T. Moran.
Buying Expensive Homes And A Tesla
The DOJ’s statement indicated that Kvashuk used the funds to “live the life of a millionaire.” He bought a $1.6 million waterfront lake house and a $160,000 Tesla vehicle.
The Court Ruling further claimed that Kvashuk didn’t take responsibility for his actions. Instead, he told “a series of outrageous lies” when he testified. The prosecutors believe that Kvashuk showed “no signs that he feels any remorse or regret for his crimes.”
Interestingly, the Ukrainian said during the trial that he didn’t intend to defraud Microsoft or his colleagues. He claimed to be working on a “special project” to benefit the company.
Kvashuk has to pay over $8 million in restitution and may be deported following his prison term.