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Former Microsoft engineer convicted for stealing over $10M in digital currency, using bitcoin mixing service

Yogita Khatri

A former Microsoft engineer has been declared guilty for stealing more than $10 million in digital currency.

Volodymyr Kvashuk, a 25-year-old Ukrainian citizen living in Washington, has been convicted of wire fraud, money laundering, aggravated identity theft and other offenses, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

Kvashuk was employed at Microsoft, where he helped test the company’s online retail sales platform. He was accused of stealing digital currency such as gift cards, then reselling them on the internet and using the proceeds to buy a $1.7 million lakefront home and a $160,000 Tesla vehicle.

He was also accused of using a bitcoin mixing service in an attempt to hide the source of his funds. Around $2.8 million in bitcoin was transferred into his bank accounts. Kvashuk then filed fake tax return forms, claiming the bitcoin had been a gift from a relative, said the department.

“In addition to stealing from Microsoft, Volodymyr Kvashuk also stole from the government by concealing his fraudulent income and filing false tax returns," said Ryan L. Korner, special agent in charge at Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation's Cyber Crimes Unit.

“Criminals who think they can avoid detection by using cryptocurrency and laundering through mixers are put on notice…you will be caught and you will be held accountable,” Korner added.

Kvashuk faces up to 20 years in jail when he is sentenced in June.