Anything can be hidden, but not too long. One can commit dreadful activities behind the law, but will eventually be caught one day despite being clever. Here’s one such guy named Volodymyr Kvashuk, who worked for Microsoft previously and stolen $10 million worth of digital assets. Most of them were sold in dark markets to launder money and bought expensive gifts for himself.
Kvashuk is just another employee, who’s got internal access into the company’s critical projects and misused it for his own good. He was appointed as a contractor for Microsoft until mid-2016 and later appointed as employee till June 2018. He was given enough time to steal assets and fired from the company citing suspicious reasons.
Stolen – Sold – Laundered
Throughout this period, he was appointed as a tester of Microsoft’s online retail sales platform, but he used that privilege to steal currency stored value, such as gift cards. He began selling them online (mostly dark sites) and retrieving money in the form of Bitcoins, mostly. He used to steal smaller amounts ranging from thousands of dollars too, and when authorities felt suspicious about his earnings, he then used email accounts of other employees to mask digital evidence and tunnel his money in unknown ways.
With the laundered, he purchased a lakefront home worth $1.6 million, $160,000 Tesla and others. Though he used Bitcoin mixing services to mask the evidence of transactions, he was tracked by IRS and convicted of laundering cases.
After the five-day trial, Kvashuk was convicted of wire fraud, money laundering, identity theft, fake tax returns, unauthorized access of mail and protected computer etc. This led judges to sentence him a 20-year prison. On Kvashuk’s conviction, Ryan L. Korner, IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge said,
“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.”