Most people that hack or otherwise cheat in video games are simply doing so to gain an unfair advantage against their opponents. For Anthony Clark and three others, their motivation allegedly had little to do with playing games.
Clark is on trial for conspiracy to commit wire fraud after he and three others allegedly created a tool that allowed them to mine FIFA coins from Electronic Arts’ servers.
FIFA coins serve as the in-game currency for EA’s popular FIFA soccer games. They can be earned by playing the game or purchased using real money, allowing gamers to purchase player packs. The coins are also readily available on the black market from dealers in China and Europe.
The FBI claims that Clark and his co-defendants used the tool to steal FIFA coins and sell them to third-party sellers, generating anywhere between $15 million and $18 million in cash. The illegal activity reportedly started at some point in 2013 and lasted through September 17 of last year when the FBI began its investigation and started seizing property.
As Kotaku highlights, the FBI seized nearly $3 million in cash from a Bank of America account that was in Clark’s name in addition to luxury vehicles and several hundreds of thousands of dollars from accounts belonging to co-defendants Ricky Miller, Nicholas Castellucci and Eaton Zveare.
Miller pled guilty in October, the publication notes.