TX: Fourth Defendant Convicted in Scheme that Defrauded Electronic Arts of More Than $16 Million Worth of Virtual Currency
Anthony Clark, 24, was convicted today of wire fraud in connection with his involvement in a scheme to defraud a software company, Electronic Arts, of more than $16 million. The conviction was announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas and Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Leslie R. Caldwell.
Clark’s conviction followed a three-day jury trial on an indictment charging 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. Sentencing has been scheduled for February 27, 2017.
Evidence presented at trial showed that Clark and three co-conspirators defrauded Electronic Arts (EA), 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.
Information from: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Texas