Microsoft engineer gets nine years for stealing $ 10 million from a tech giant. The defendant tried – but failed-to use bitcoin to cover his tracks.
A former Microsoft software engineer from Ukraine has been sentenced to nine years in prison for stealing more than $ 10 million from a Microsoft online store. From 2016 to 2018, Vladimir kvashuk worked at Microsoft as a tester, placing simulated online orders to make sure everything was working properly.
The software automatically prevented physical products from being sent to testers like kvashuk. But in an important omission, it did not block the purchase of virtual gift cards. So, 26-year-old kvashuk discovered that he could use his test account to buy credit in a real store, and then use the credit to buy real goods.
First, kvashuk bought an Office subscription and a couple of video cards. But when no one noticed these small purchases, he became emboldened. In late 2017 and early 2018, he stole millions of dollars ‘ worth of credit from Microsoft and resold it online for bitcoins, which he then cashed out using Coinbase.
The U.S. attorney’s office says he earned at least $ 2.8 million, which he used to buy a $ 160,000 Tesla and a $ 1.6 million beachfront home. His revenue was less than the amount of the stolen loan, because he had to ” merge” it with a large discount. He also used test accounts created by colleagues for subsequent thefts.
The jury found the government’s arguments convincing and convicted Kvashuk on several counts. Kvashuk was ordered to pay $ 8.3 million in compensation, although it is unlikely that he will ever be able to do so. The government says he may be deported after serving time in prison.