A former Microsoft engineer has been sentenced to nine years for stealing more than $ 10 million in digital value from his former employer in the form of “currency stored value” (CSV), including gift cards.
Volodymyr Kvashuk, a 26-year-old Ukrainian citizen living in Washington, used his colleagues’ accounts and identities to steal and then sell the CSV, making it appear that his colleagues were responsible for the fraud.
Kvashuk also used a Bitcoin (BTC) mix service to further obscure the paper trail, telling the Internal Revenue Service that the $ 2.8 million in cryptocurrency that went through its accounts was sent by a family member. According to the United States Department of Justice:
During the seven months of KVASHUK’s illegal activity, approximately $ 2.8 million worth of Bitcoin was transferred to its bank and investment accounts. KVASHUK then filed false tax return forms claiming the Bitcoin was a gift from a family member. “
Kvashuk worked at Microsoft from August 2016 until his dismissal in June 2018.
Ryan Korner, Special Agent for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), said the conviction is “ the country’s first Bitcoin case with a tax component. ” Korner alleged that the conviction highlights the increasing sophistication of the agency’s criminal division in identifying unreported crypto asset transactions:
“Put simply, today’s conviction proves that you cannot steal money over the Internet and think Bitcoin is going to hide your criminal behavior.”
Brian Moran of the US Attorney’s Office said, “Stealing from your employer is bad enough, but stealing and making it look like your colleagues are to blame increases the damage beyond dollars and cents.”
Kvushuk has been found guilty of 18 federal felonies, including six counts of money laundering and twice filing false tax returns. The Ukrainian used the stolen money to buy a $ 1.6 million lake house and a $ 160,000 Tesla car.
In US history, tax evasion has been accused of numerous criminal schemes. Prohibition-era gangster boss Al Capone spent seven years in federal prison from 1931 after being found guilty of tax evasion.