The house purchased by Kvashuk, according to King County parcel records.

The house purchased by Kvashuk, according to King County parcel records.

Renton resident convicted of defrauding Microsoft

A former Microsoft employee living in Renton was convicted on 18 charges related to a scheme to defraud Microsoft of $10 million in digital currency.

According to a press release from the Department of Justice, Volodymyr Kvashuk, a Ukrainian citizen living in Renton, was employed at Microsoft since August 2016. He was fired in June 2018.

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.

To cover his tracks, Kvashuk allegedly used test emails associated to other employees, masked digital traces of the sales and used a bitcoin mixing service to hide where the funds came from.

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 money to proceeds to purchase a $1.6 million dollar lakefront home and a $160,000 Tesla vehicle.

In closing arguments, Assistant United States Attorney Siddharth Velamoor said Kvashuk “hid behind his colleagues’ names…. dripping fraud and deceit every step of the way…. This is a simple case… anyway you look at it this is a crime of greed,” according to the press release.

Kvashuk testified at trial that he did not intend to defraud Microsoft. He claimed to be working on a special project to benefit the company.

That testimony was, “A house of lies on top of a previous house of lies,” Assistant United States Attorney Michael Dion told the jury.

The jury deliberated for five hours before announcing Kvashuk as guilty.

Kvashuk now faces sentencing in the U.S. District Court.


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