Fourth Defendant Convicted in Scheme That Defrauded Software Company of Over $16 Million Worth of Virtual Currency
A Whittier, California man was convicted today of wire fraud in connection with his involvement in a scheme to defraud a software company of over $16 million, announced Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Leslie R. Caldwell and U.S. Attorney John R. Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Anthony Clark, 24, was convicted by a jury sitting in Fort Worth, Texas, of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Sentencing has been scheduled for February 27, 2017.
Evidence presented at trial showed that Clark and three co-conspirators defrauded software company Electronic Arts (EA). EA 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. Due to the popularity of FIFA Football, a secondary market has developed whereby FIFA coins can be exchanged for U.S. currency. Clark and his co-conspirators circumvented multiple security mechanisms created by EA in order to fraudulently obtain FIFA coins worth over $16 million. Specifically, Clark and his co-conspirators created software that fraudulently logged thousands of FIFA Football matches within a matter of seconds, and as a result, EA computers credited Clark and his co-conspirators with improperly earned FIFA coins. Clark and his co-conspirators subsequently exchanged their FIFA coins on the secondary market for over $16 million.
Co-conspirators Nick Castellucci, 24, of New Jersey; Ricky Miller, 24, of Arlington, Texas; and Eaton Zveare, 24, of Lancaster, Virginia, previously pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
The FBI and the Internal Revenue Service investigated the case. Senior Counsel Ryan Dickey of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Poe and Candina Heath of the Northern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.