Ex-Microsoft engineer gets 9 years in prison for stealing $10m

A former Microsoft software engineer has been sentenced to nine years in prison for 18 felonies related to his scheme to defraud Microsoft of more than $10 million

Ex-Microsoft engineer gets 9 years in prison for stealing $10m

A former Microsoft software engineer has been sentenced to nine years in prison for 18 felonies related to his scheme to defraud Microsoft of more than $10 million. Reuters photo.

San Francisco, November 10

A former Microsoft software engineer has been sentenced to nine years in prison for 18 felonies related to his scheme to defraud Microsoft of more than $10 million in digital value such as gift cards.

The former engineer, Volodymyr Kvashuk, was sentenced on Monday by the US District Court in Seattle, said US Attorney Brian Moran.

According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, Kvashuk was involved in the testing of Microsoft's online retail sales platform and used that testing access to steal "currency stored value" (CSV) such as digital gift cards.

He resold the value on the Internet, using the proceeds to purchase a $1.6 million dollar lakefront home and a $160,000 Tesla vehicle.

A Ukrainian citizen residing in Renton, Washington, Kvashuk (26) worked first as a contractor in Microsoft and then as an employee from August 2016 until he was fired in June 2018.

In February, Kvashuk was convicted by a jury of five counts of wire fraud, six counts of money laundering, two counts of aggravated identity theft, two counts of filing false tax returns, and one count each of mail fraud, access device fraud, and access to a protected computer in furtherance of the fraud.

At his sentencing hearing, US District Judge James Robart said Kvashuk "didn't have any respect for the law." "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," said US Attorney Moran.

"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," Moran said.

In their sentencing memo, the prosecutors noted that Kvashuk's scheme cast other Microsoft employees under the glare of suspicion.

"Kvashuk used the proceeds to live the life of a millionaire, driving a $160,000 car and living in a $1.6 million waterfront home. Kvashuk's scheme involved lies and deception at every step. He put his colleagues in the line of fire by using their test accounts to steal CSV. Rather than taking responsibility, he testified and told a series of outrageous lies. There is no sign that Kvashuk feels any remorse or regret for his crimes," prosecutors wrote to the court.

Along with the prison sentence, Kvashuk was ordered to pay $8.3 million in restitution. He may be deported following his prison term.

--IANS

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