Zynga Poker Thief Gets Two Years in the Slam

Zynga Poker Thief Gets Two Years in the Slam

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The hacker who stole $12 million worth of virtual poker chips from Zynga has been sentenced to two years in the slammer.

It was back in early February that we first heard about Ashley Mitchell, a 29-year-old chap from the U.K. who hacked into Zynga Poker servers and stole billions of virtual poker chips worth a handsome $12 million. He then turned around and started selling them to Zynga Poker players on eBay at a deep discount, unloading about a third of them for roughly $85,700 before he was busted.

He pleaded guilty to four counts of "converting criminal property" and one count of "securing unauthorized access to a computer with intent to commit an offense," and claimed he was struggling with a gambling addiction that had cost him nearly $5000 on various online games.

Throwing himself on the mercy of the courts doesn't seem to have done him much good, however, as yesterday he was slapped with a two-year jail term. "People rely on computer systems," said Exeter Crown Court Judge Philip Wassall. "Anyone who has managed to get into these systems for their own ends should expect a stiff sentence."

Mitchell is also facing another 30 weeks inside for breaching a suspended sentence handed down in 2008 for hacking into his former employer's computer and stealing roughly $5700.

Source: eWeek Europe

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wow thats messed up man

He should do like that WoW guy and try to bribe the judge to get him free, with virtual chips that is.

I guess that, when he ends up in a cell with a butch, huge-muscle-slab of a man called "Randy", we'll find out if we can read his Poker Face, P-P-Poker Face.

JordanMillward_1:
I guess that, when he ends up in a cell with a butch, huge-muscle-slab of a man called "Randy", we'll find out if we can read his Poker Face, P-P-Poker Face.

Dammit man, every reference to her is unholy! Cleanse yourself - come here, I'll help, let me burn you, it won't hurt a bit, I promise...

OT: Since it's rather trendy these days to foretell the death of gaming platforms, here's what I think...

OMG all these scams and identity thefts are going to kill off the casual MMO market lol rofl omg brb!

Raiyan 1.0:

JordanMillward_1:
I guess that, when he ends up in a cell with a butch, huge-muscle-slab of a man called "Randy", we'll find out if we can read his Poker Face, P-P-Poker Face.

Dammit man, every reference to her is unholy! Cleanse yourself - come here, I'll help, let me burn you, it won't hurt a bit, I promise...

I actually have a soft spot for her :P She's so bizarre she's cool...

*dons his flame-proof clothing*

But yea, seriously, how did that guy think he wasn't going to get caught?

I thought two years seemed a bit extreme until I got to the end and learned this wasn't his first offense. Yep, that'll do it.

humm this might make a good movie, i mean people seemed to realy like them ocean's eleven movies, and people like the internet, it seems be an easy fit...

He's almost pretty lucky to get just two years, he's done repeated offenses, is 29 years old and tried to make a fortune off of hacked property, I think even though he could have gotten worse that time should be enough to teach him a lesson (unless ofc he has aspergers and is really obsessed with hacking...)

If your going to screw Zynga, I support you. Just do it a little bit more subtly for goodness sake. Selling off vast quantities for a discount price on ebay was bound to get spotted.

Other than that, he deserves what he got, should have learnt after getting caught the first time.

What are you here for?

"I stole virtual poker chips"

Thats too harsh, zyngas losses were practically negligible, though theres that previous hacking incident.. I don't know what to make of this.

Jail? PUT THAT MAN TO WORK!!!

And once again Zynga proves that there truely is no honour amongst thieves ;)

In seriousness, kid was dumb enough to do something illegal, dumb enough to get caught, and now gets to face the music. Call off the Batman, justice is served.

2 years for 12 million
2/3 of a year for $7500.

Disparity much?

So, let me see if I've got this correct. In the real world - He made forged chips, sold them at a discount rate, Zynga's security missed them and they were allowed to play with them.

No charges for the people buying heavily discounted chips, the servers/ISPs/forums providing them or the "guards" for being incompetent.

Another thing...how do "billions" of chips equal virtual millions, unless the chips have a value of less than a penny?

FogHornG36:
humm this might make a good movie, i mean people seemed to realy like them ocean's eleven movies, and people like the internet, it seems be an easy fit...

Have him also beat his wife/girlfriend and change it a bit so she turned him in and you have a Lifetime movie of the week.

RowdyRodimus:

FogHornG36:
humm this might make a good movie, i mean people seemed to realy like them ocean's eleven movies, and people like the internet, it seems be an easy fit...

Have him also beat his wife/girlfriend and change it a bit so she turned him in and you have a Lifetime movie of the week.

Oh good idea, and we could do another version were it turns out his wife is an alien, and we could sell it to the syfi channal

If this gaming fraud thing is going to take off, I think I'm going to start up a prisoner's alibi business.
It won't help you with the courts, but just think about spending your time inside trying to tell Raymond the bastard, Black & Decker Billy and Crazy Hands Paul that you ended up with two years for trying to scam Zynga, while their faces slowly light up.

Interested in that cover story yet?

So it's safe to say, he gambled away two years of his life...?

Mmmhmmm...

...
..... <_<

lol, who would ever think, "Zynga poker... Yeah that'd be a good heist."

I'm curious though: how did he "hack into his former employer's computer and stealing roughly $5700." I get how hacking into an employer's computer can be interesting, but how do you get money out of it?

Dr. Pepper Unlimited:
So it's safe to say,

*puts on sunglasses*

he gambled away two years of his life

YAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Mmmhmmm...

...
..... <_<

Had to add something to your post, you put it together quite well.

Awesome, an Escapist news article that isn't also an opinion piece! Excellent.

I wonder what happens to the people who bought chips off him, whether they get to keep them?

If I hadn't heard about crazy stuff like this before, I'd think this news item was a joke.

two years a stiff sentence? interesting. where i come from that's fairly light.

Woem:
I'm curious though: how did he "hack into his former employer's computer and stealing roughly $5700." I get how hacking into an employer's computer can be interesting, but how do you get money out of it?

depends on what the computer was for. it could have been as simple as stealing the login info for a company financial account and wiring himself the money.

Steals $12 million and only 2 years in jail? WTF?

2 years for the theft of 12 million dollars....seems a bit light to me!

12 Million Dollars is the value placed on those chips by Zynga. Its not actually worth shit all. Quite frankly I'm getting sick of courts and judges making "examples" of cyber criminals because they themselves are about as computer literate as a bloody 2 year old.

One has to ask how Zynga let such a theft take place, given it sounds as if the man wasn't exactly the supreme overlord of all hackers.

Selvec:
12 Million Dollars is the value placed on those chips by Zynga. Its not actually worth shit all. Quite frankly I'm getting sick of courts and judges making "examples" of cyber criminals because they themselves are about as computer literate as a bloody 2 year old.

One has to ask how Zynga let such a theft take place, given it sounds as if the man wasn't exactly the supreme overlord of all hackers.

Well since he moved the currency into an account with intent to sell it off it becomes fraud and computer trespass, Given it was a second offense for fraud/trespass 2 years is very appropriate of the judge to hand down.

 

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