A former Microsoft employee living in Renton was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison in U.S. District Court in Seattle, following a February 2020 conviction for 18 federal felonies.
The employee defrauded the company by stealing more than $10 million since his start in 2016, according to a Nov. 9 U.S. Department of Justice press release. Volodymyr Kvashuk, 26, a Ukrainian citizen residing in Renton, used test emails associated to other employees, masked digital traces of the sales and used a bitcoin mixing service to cover his tracks.
Kvashuk job duties included testing Microsoft’s online retail sales platform. His job was to emulate the experience of a customer making a purchase, but was not suppose to involve purchases of gift cards or other currency stored value (CSV) which he allegedly accessed. He would allegedly purchase CSV and resell it on internet reseller websites.
The thefts began with amounts of $10,000, eventually escalating to millions of dollars. In the seven months of illegal activity, approximately $2.8 million was transferred to his bank accounts.
Microsoft investigators confronted Kvashuk about the thefts in May 2018 and he was fired by the company in June 2018.
Prosecutors claimed Kvashuk used the proceeds to purchase a $1.6 million dollar lakefront home and a $160,000 Tesla.
“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,” U.S. Attorney Brian Moran said in a press release.
Kvashuk was also ordered to pay $8.3 million in restitution, and may be deported following his prison term.