Sun. Aug 7th, 2022

In this day and age of digital assets, security and protection are prime issues. Even companies as large and technologically advanced can be easily scammed or defrauded out of their digital assets if not stored and monitored properly.

Jury Convicts

Yesterday, a jury in Washington state, found ex-Microsoft employee Volodymyr Kvashuk guilty of wire and bank fraud. Kvashuk worked for Microsoft from 2016 – 2018 as software developer working on the ecommerce retail sales platform. During that period, the developer misappropriated over 10 million dollars of digital currency to live the lifestyle as seen on the Rich & Famous.

The 25-year-old developer purchase a new Tesla with a price tag over $150k and a waterfront home of $1.2million. Not a bad way to live.

Bitcoin Mixing Service

According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Kvashuk used a “bitcoin mixing service” to try and mask the source of the funds he was moving into his bank account. He also used test email accounts associated with other employees.

The developer was caught by Microsoft investigators and not fire for a month after he was confronted.

The Defense

In his defense, he claimed that he had no intention of defrauding Microsoft and that he was working on a special project for the benefit of the company. Of course after his one-week trial he was convicted. Kvashuk  was convicted of five counts of wire fraud; six counts of money laundering; two counts of aggravated identity theft; two counts of filing false tax returns; one count of mail fraud; one count of access device fraud; and one count of access to a protected computer in furtherance of fraud.

He will be sentenced June 1, 2020 and faces up to 20 years in prison.

Other Scams

In other scammy criminal news involving cryptocurrency, John Michael Caruso and Zachary Salter have been arrest and are awaiting arrangement on wire fraud and money laundering charges in Arizona.

Kryp+0 K!ng Arrested

The indictment claims that Caruso and Salter operated Zima Digital Assets, a purported cryptocurrency investment fund, which, in reality, was a fraud. Caruso and Salter received more than $9 million from victims but the funds were not used for the purchase of cryptocurrency or other “blockchain based assets”.

Caruso nicknamed himself Kryp+0 K!ng. Well the King now faces more than 20 years behind bars.

The Wall Street Journal estimates that more than $4 billion was scammed in cryptocurrency in 2019.

 Scams Abound in Uganda

OZY reports that A series of large cryptocurrency scams is rocking Uganda, turning the East African nation into an unlikely hub for fraudulent firms claiming to offer digital currencies, while preying on weak governance and low financial literacy.

Other major cryptocurrency scams in 2019 involved developed economies — Japan’s BITPoint exchange lost $28 million, and con men in the U.K. and the Netherlands stole $27 million from Bitcoin users. Globally, cybercriminals stole $4.3 billion from users and exchanges last year. But Uganda is the worst hit — by far.

By Gerelyn