Ukrainian software developer Volodymyr Kvaschuk was sentenced to nine years in prison due to his involvement in stealing more than $10 million from Microsoft. The verdict was issued in 2020, but the details of this investigation were not known until now.
The defendant worked at Microsoft between August 2016 and June 2018 and previously worked as a quality assurance evaluator on the Universal Store team. In this position, employees have the ability to create accounts using dedicated email addresses and credit cards. This allowed him to make free purchases with discount cards.
The individual purchased gift cards through his account, after which their value could be credited to his account and receive a discount in the digital or offline Microsoft Store. But Kvashchuk went even further, using the scheme for personal gain: selling digital cards to third parties. According to prosecutors, he caused the company a $10 million loss by trading promotional codes at prices far below their actual value.
According to investigators, once a programmer began selling so many codes, the prices of Xbox gift cards were driven throughout the reseller market. Two years later, Kwashchuk had already stolen more than 150,000 cards totaling $10 million. During this time he managed to buy a Tesla automobile for $162,899 and a house on Lake Washington worth more than $1, 600,000.
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