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Four Defrauded Software Company 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 more than $16 million, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas and Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Leslie R. Caldwell.

Anthony Clark, 24, was convicted, following 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 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.