‘FIFA’ Latest News & Update: EA Hacker Found Guilty Of Conspiracy To Commit Wire Fraud; RANE Developments Hacking Group Embezzled $16 Million?

By Arianne Gift , Updated Nov 18, 2016 08:04 AM EST

While a wire fraud case is commonly committed against a banking institution, the case of a California man proved quite different. Anthony Clark, 24, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against Electronic Arts. He and three others mined a staggering $16 million worth of "FIFA" coins, the digital currency that allows microtransactions in their "FIFA" games.

California Hacker & Friends Mined $16 Million Worth Of "FIFA" Coins

Clark, a member of the hacking group RANE Developments, developed a software that tricked EA servers into turning over millions of dollars worth of "FIFA" coins over the course of two years. Instead of actually playing the game, selling players or coaches, and doing other transactions in the "FIFA" Transfer Market to earn coins, he and his co-conspirators figured out a way to avoid such.

Using Xbox development kits, the group reverse-engineered EA's code, a process that apparently took months for them to complete. Once codes were generated, the hackers started to send fake signals to EA servers to make it look like they were actually playing "FIFA" matches. In effect, incentives were given to the hackers by way of "FIFA" coins that have amounted to $16 million, according to a US Department of Justice press release.

EA's "FIFA" A Favorite Among Hackers 

Although the case caused quite a stir amongst game enthusiasts, EA isn't new to this type of ordeal. Earlier this year, legal charges have been filed against YouTube personalities for starting online lotteries using "FIFA" coins, reports Engadget. The fact that Electronic Arts earned $1.3 billion last year from in-game purchases alone has somehow paved way for criminals to rake in cash, according to an observation by Forbes.

The authorities cornered Clark and three others last year, seizing money, a house, and cars. A jury has since convicted Clark on one count of conspiracy just this week. The rest of the hackers: Eaton Zveare, 24; Ricky Miller, 24; and Nick Castellucci, 24, pleaded guilty as well. Currently, all four are waiting for their sentence.

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