5. Dezember 2020

Microsoft employee sentenced to 9 years in prison: first Bitcoin tax evasion case in the USA

A former Microsoft employee was sentenced to 9 years in prison. According to the US attorney’s office, this is the „first Bitcoin case that includes a tax aspect“.

A former Microsoft developer has been sentenced to nine years in prison for stealing over $ 10 million in „Currency Valuations“ (CSV) digital assets, including gift cards, from his former employer

Volodimir Kvaschuk, a 26-year-old Ukrainian national residing in Washington, used his employees‘ accounts and identities to steal and then sell the CSV. He made it appear that the other employees were responsible for the fraud.

Kwaschuk also used a Crypto Code mixer to cover his tracks. He notified the US tax authorities, the IRS, that the $ 2.8 million worth of crypto gifts that went through his accounts were sent by a relative. The U.S. Department of Justice said:

„In the seven months that KWASCHUK was pursuing its illegal activities, around 2.8 million US dollars in Bitcoin were transferred to its bank and investment accounts. KWASCHUK then filed fake tax returns, claiming that the Bitcoin was a gift from a relative been.“

Kwaschuk worked at Microsoft from August 2016 until he was fired in June 2018

According to IRS special envoy Ryan Korner, the ruling is „the first Bitcoin case in the country to include a tax aspect“. Korner said this conviction demonstrates the increasing sophistication of the agency’s law enforcement division in identifying unreported transactions in cryptocurrencies:

„Simply put, today’s conviction proves that you cannot steal money over the Internet. You needn’t think that Bitcoin will hide your criminal behavior.“

Brian Moran of the US Attorney’s Office commented: „Stealing from your employer is bad enough, but stealing and blaming your coworkers is even greater damage that cannot be quantified in dollars and cents.“

Kvashuk was found guilty on 18 counts, including six money laundering cases and two false tax declarations. The Ukrainian used the stolen money to buy a lake house worth $ 1.6 million and a Tesla worth $ 160,000.

Tax evasion charges have been very effective against numerous criminals throughout US history. Prohibition- era gang boss Al Capone served seven years in prison from 1931 after being found guilty of tax evasion.