Crypto has been on the global financial scene for a while now. Crypto, and Bitcoin, in particular, was widely lauded for its decentralized nature. However, a few took advantage of this and turned away from basic duties, like paying taxes. Although regulators thought that scams and hacks were a major problem, tax evasion became a bigger quandary. However, the law enforcement authorities are not far behind, and they make sure to get hold of those formulating the same. The latest update from the Department of Justice revealed that no crime would go unseen.
Microsoft Defrauded Via Bitcoin Mixer For More Than Nine Years
The United States’ Department of Justice shared a press release revealing the sentencing of a Ukrainian citizen, Volodymyr Kvashuk for deceiving prominent tech company Microsoft. The Seattle District Court charged the Ukrainian to nine years in prison with over 18 federal felonies. Duping a company as big as Microsoft is close to impossible, however, Kvashuk went on to acquire over $10 million from the tech giant in an unethical way.
The Ukrainian citizen reportedly took advantage of his access to employees and swindled with digital gift cards to acquire funds. Later, the accused used the Bitcoin mixing services to cover up the source of these funds. While the use of his employee’s account to steal funds is a crime in itself, Kvashuk often used the accounts of his colleagues to acquire more funds. With the money he had accumulated, the Ukrainian citizen sold it online and made a huge amount of money. The convict did not shy away, as he spent the stolen funds on a Tesla car, a $1.6 million lakefront house along with several other luxury items.
The U.S. Attorney Moran commented on the first of its kind case and pointed out how unethical it was to put one’s colleagues under the gun without them doing anything. He added,
“This case required sophisticated, technological skills to investigate and prosecute, and I am pleased that our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have the skill sets needed to bring such offenders to justice.”
The Ukrainian man also transferred about $2.8 million in Bitcoin to his bank as well as an investment account. For his doings, Kvashuk was sentenced to nine years in jail as well as a fine of $8,344,586. Kvashuk managed to remain under the wraps for so many years as individuals did not have to unveil gifts received in crypto to the government, However, this held good only until the tax year 2019, and in February 2020, Kvashuk was charged by a jury of wire fraud, money laundering as well as mail fraud along with several other allegations.