Man steals $50,000 from online companies with micro deposits

By Justin Mann on May 27, 2008, 7:08 PM
In some backwards proof that an EULA is not law and that often it is the intent of the law not the letter that gets people excited, a man has recently been indicted on some heavy charges after pilfering thousands of dollars from online companies in a pseudo-legitimate way. If you've ever used any form of online financial service before, ranging from PayPal to Google Checkout to brokerage and others, you're likely accustomed to a common way they verify that accounts you provide to them are accurate micro deposits two small deposits that you must later confirm.

This man used that system to his advantage, and opened up thousands of accounts with single sites, each account depositing another fractional amount into his bank accounts. He ended up snagging over $50,000 before being caught. Suspicion began to build when companies noticed that thousands of accounts were being opened with fake names. Now Michael Largent faces multiple charges of computer fraud. Interestingly, he didn't seem to think he was doing anything wrong, citing that Google Checkout's terms of service didn't prohibit his actions. Of course, fraud sits in a realm above simple terms of service, and he ought to have known better.




User Comments: 1

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maxhodges said:
what if this story was in fact not true? Maybe WIRED published it just to see how many people would rip it without doing any independant fact checking whatsoever.I'm not convinced this is a true story. It smells like linkbait to me. I did all kinds of searches for the names of the judges and special agent listed on the linked PDFs, but could not find any info whatsoever related to this case.[url]http://dockets.justia.com/browse/state-california/
ourt-caedce/judge-Drozd/[/url][url]http://www.usdoj.gov/us
o/cae/press_releases/index.html[/url][url]http://dockets.j
stia.com/browse/state-california/court-caedce/judge-Hollow
/[/url]Searching for ["michael largent" fraud] or ["michael largent" "plumas lake"] or [sacramento federal court largent] does not return any articles written by a source other than Wired.
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