In February, we reported that a Microsoft engineer was arrested for stealing gift cards. This Microsoft engineer has been sentenced to nine years in prison by a US court.
Volodymyr Kvashuk was a contract employee of Microsoft’s contractor who was mainly responsible for testing the retail platform. Subsequently, Volodymyr, a software engineer, became a regular Microsoft employee.
When participating in the test, Volodymyr had access to Microsoft’s digital gift card system, so he began to quietly add a $12,000 gift card to his account. The stolen gift card can be purchased directly in the Microsoft Store and deducted.
Originally, Volodymyr only increased the denomination of the gift card in his account many times, which is not easy to find for the Microsoft Store with a lot of daily transactions.
But then Volodymyr thought he had found a chance to make a fortune, and began to frantically increase the denomination of the gift card and then sell the gift card online at a lower price.
The money earned from the peddling was used to buy lake view houses and Tesla electric cars, and at the same time, Volodymyr also bought a large amount of Bitcoin for storage in order to avoid being found anomalies.
These bitcoins were sold for cash and transferred to the bank after some currency mixing services. In the tax return, he also claimed that the bitcoins were gifted by relatives.
As of the time of the incident, Volodymyr’s illegal activities only lasted for seven months, but in these seven months he actually generated up to 10 million US dollars in gift cards.
After peddling, the cash returned to his account through Bitcoin alone has exceeded 2.8 million US dollars, and more fraudulent wealth has been used to purchase various high-end items.
Although Volodymyr said at the trial that he did not know the consequences of stealing the virtual gift card were so serious, the prosecutor found that it was not the case after investigation.
A series of evidence shows that the engineer fully knew what he was doing and also took various measures to circumvent investigations by Microsoft, law enforcement agencies, and courts.
Including secretly using colleagues’ accounts to generate gift cards, using bitcoin for transactions, using bitcoin mixing services to avoid tracking, and falsifying tax returns. The prosecutor believes that every step of Volodymyr’s plan involves lies and fraud.
In the end, the engineer was convicted of 18 federal felony counts, including multiple counts of money laundering and forged tax returns, and the court sentenced him to nine years in prison.
At the same time, the engineer has to compensate Microsoft for the loss of 8.3 million US dollars. In the end, given that he is still a Ukrainian citizen, he will be deported from the United States after the end of his sentence.