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Former Microsoft worker gets 9 years in $10 million fraud scheme


An exterior view of the unveiling of an original art installation created by renound artist Tabor Robak for the Flagship Microsoft Store in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Microsoft)

A former Microsoft worker in the United States was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison for a scheme to steal $10 million in digital currency — money authorities said he used to buy a $160,000 car and a lakefront home.

Volodymyr Kvashuk, a 26-year-old Ukrainian citizen living in Renton, Washngton, was responsible for helping test Microsoft’s online retail sales platform.

Prosecutors said he stole digital currency such as gift cards or codes that could be redeemed for Microsoft products or gaming subscriptions, then resold them on the internet.

A federal jury convicted Kvashuk in February of tax, money laundering and fraud charges. U.S. District Judge James Robart sentenced him Monday and ordered him to pay more than $8.3 million in restitution. Kvashuk could be deported following his prison term.

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Much of the money was stolen using email accounts associated with other Microsoft employees.

“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,” Seattle U.S. Attorney Brian Moran said in a news release.

Kvashuk used the money in part to buy a Tesla vehicle and a $1.7 million lakefront home.

He was fired in June 2018 after the scheme came to light.