Man jailed for stealing conceptual poker chips from Zynga
Remember the man who got accused of stealing conceptual things? The conceptual things in question were virtual Zynga Poker chips worth £7.4 million. That's a lot of imaginary things. Well, Ashley Mitchell, who had a room filled with imaginary poker chips has been sent to prison with murderers, puncherers and molesters for two whole years by an Exeter Crown Court after pleading guilty to five charges of hacking and theft.
Mitchell hacked into the mainframe of the US based social games maker and made off with 400 billion electronic credits. If you stacked them all on top of each other, why, you'd reach the... well... nowhere because they're not real.
Still, fraud is fraud and Mitchell had actually made £53,000 from these invisible chips after he sold them on to a man with an invisible case in which to store conceptual gambling devices.
Apparently, Mitchell has a history of gambling addiction and used fake Facebook accounts and a front company to sell the credits while also running a Facebook based gambling app which turns over a tidy £100,000 a year. We're clearly in the wrong business.
While announcing his judgement, Judge Philip Wassall said, “The dishonesty in this case was substantial and protracted. Online security is a priority for everyone these days. You deprived Zynga of income. It is quite clear you used a considerable degree of expertise and persistence to hack into the system.”
So there you have it. The message is clear. Don't go around stealing stuff that may or may not exist. Okay?