ESports Betting Fraudsters Convicted Of $16m Scam

Published Friday, November 18, 2016 -
ESports Betting Fraudsters Convicted Of $16m Scam

In the world of online gaming the crooks are always looking for the soft target that will bring them illegal gains. Electronic gaming has had its growing pains and it certainly has also had it share of illegal activity. It was only a matter of time for hackers and criminals found a way to exploit the activity. In the USA three co-conspirators have be charged with defrauding the software company Electronic Arts. 

Electronic Arts is the publisher of a video game called FIFA Football, in which players can earn “FIFA coins,” a virtual in-game currency generally earned based on the time users spend playing FIFA Football. The interest in the game of FIFA Football led to the creation a secondary market whereby FIFA coins can be exchanged for real currency.  Four individuals from the USA wrote computer software circumventing multiple security mechanisms created by EA in order to illegally obtain FIFA coins worth over $16 million USD. The co-conspirators software fraudulently logged thousands of FIFA Football matches within seconds, and EA computers credited the fraudsters with illegally earned FIFA coins. They then exchanged the FIFA coins on the secondary market for real cash money. 

Third-party virtual currency markets such as MMOGA, BuyFifaCoins and FifaUTStore have allowed players to acquire coins outside of the EA’s online marketplace. Prosecutors did not divulge the specific third-party sites the co-conspirators used to liquidate the illegally obtained coins, but US prosecutors did mention that the coins were sold to buyers in China and the United Kingdom. U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas and Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Leslie R. Caldwell led the proceedings convicting Anthony Clark, 24, of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution. 





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