Man Steals EVE Online Cash to Pay Real Debts

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Man Steals EVE Online Cash to Pay Real Debts

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Scandal broke (again) in the world of EVE Online as a respected virtual banker embezzled funds to sell on the black market in order to make ends meet in reality.

Richard, an Australian EVE Online player and father of two, was the in-game CEO of EBank, the largest player-run financial institution in the game. In a world where success often comes not by cooperating but by backstabbing and undermining, Richard and his corporation managed to eke their way into the ranks of the few genuinely trusted entities in EVE.

However, when he received an advertisement for one of the game's black market economy services - trading in-game items and currency for real-world money - rather than brushing it off as a nuisance like most MMOG players do, Richard got an idea. He proceeded to embezzle approximately 200 billion ISK (EVE's currency) which he then sold via the black market for $6,300 Australian dollars (USD 5,100). Said funds went to cover a deposit on a home Richard was buying, as well as medical expenses for his son.

Of course, the theft didn't go unnoticed for long. When players learned of Richard's embezzlement, they began a run on the bank, fearing that their hard-earned cash would be stolen as well.

Richard's account was banned by developers CCP - not for stealing the money, which is allowed in the game's rules, but for selling it for real-world money - which is not.

While Richard expressed regret for letting down his fellow EBank staffers - many of whom he considered genuine friends - he said he would probably have done the same thing if given the chance to relive the situation. He has no plans to return to EVE Online any time soon.

(Reuters)

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Wow this has given me more inspiration not to return to MMOs. The risks in this one in particular is huge.

How interesting that people will commit banking fraud with virtual money. I guess he will be the Madof of Eve online...well cept with less evil.

Lost In The Void:
Wow this has given me more inspiration not to return to MMOs. The risks in this one in particular is huge.

How is that a risk. It's fake money, that you don't even have to put into some kind of a "guild bank" in most MMOs.

Neat way to get some cash, though. Bwahaha.

Gormourn:

Lost In The Void:
Wow this has given me more inspiration not to return to MMOs. The risks in this one in particular is huge.

How is that a risk. It's fake money, that you don't even have to put into some kind of a "guild bank" in most MMOs.

Neat way to get some cash, though. Bwahaha.

Yeah, he should of sold the lot of it all at once and gotten millions.

Gormourn:

Lost In The Void:
Wow this has given me more inspiration not to return to MMOs. The risks in this one in particular is huge.

How is that a risk. It's fake money, that you don't even have to put into some kind of a "guild bank" in most MMOs.

Neat way to get some cash, though. Bwahaha.

Yes but the work you have to do for that cash is sometimes immense. I wouldn't know how hard it is to get cash in EVE but still massively annoying at best when someone steals your stuff

This only wants me to play the game even more.

For all the people of the Escapist community, imagine me as a big player in EVE Online.

I'd be too evil for words.

CantFaketheFunk:
Said funds went to cover [...] medical expenses for his son.

I have a hard time condemning him, if for no other reason than this. Wouldn't we have done the same?

This man is officially my hero. Does anyone have his address, so that I might send him a cake?

Sucks to be him I guess.

The Shade:

I have a hard time condemning him, if for no other reason than this. Wouldn't we have done the same?

Well, no.
I'd have done it just for shits and giggles.

But I can appreciate his reasons and I don't condemn his choice.

Also that's just plain awesome.

I lol'd. This guy is now my hero. I love when people get all worked up about fantasy things.

well im happy for Richard and his son

I actually want to play EVE, every other day something cool like this happens.

Hahahaha, First rule of Eve Online: Trust no one, not even friends, always expect the worst Second rule of Eve Online: If it sounds too good to be true, it probabily is.

If it can be done, then hell, do it, all part of the rules.

I really want to play EVE online and do EXACTLY THIS!

CantFaketheFunk:
He has no plans to return to EVE Online any time soon.

Don't think EVE Online have plans for that either by the looks of it.

Whilst I see why he did it, I can't sympathize with him for it really. As much as it was for his own debt, it is still not allowed and can ruin both the players and the company who make the game. Gold farming is just wrong in my opinion, and I can't change that.

For medical expenses I can safely say we all would.

You want to do this?
Good luck.
You don't quite understand what "managed to eke their way into the ranks of the few genuinely trusted entities in EVE" entails.
Genuinely trusted entities? I can think of two. I've been playing for two years, and I know two people who are "genuinely trusted".
Both of those people have been playing the game for over 4 years.

So yes, if you want to spend 4 years of your life playing (admittedly one of the most intense and kickass games on the planet) a game for about 5 grand, go ahead. Could you steal more, well yeah. But to be honest, in 4 years you could make more just playing the game. He stole because there was a lot of money available quickly. If you plan to make a load of cash over 4 years, you'd be better off just honestly working for the ISK and then selling it.

To the person who said "things like this happen every other day"
Here are a few links for the rest of us to oogle over.
http://eve.klaki.net/heist/
http://www.eveonline.com/news.asp?a=single&nid=3167&tid=7

@ whoever said they didn't know how easy it was to make money in EVE:
Easy. A lot easier than the amount of beggars and scammers would lead you to believe.
Play for a year, remember to salvage, and you won't ever need money.
However, there is one saying that fits EVE perfectly:
"A fool and his money are easily parted"

I say kudos for the guy. Good for him and his son.

This is why I love EVE. All the crazy shit you can do.

As sad as that is, it's also really freakin awesome.

Well, if it paid for his sons medical bills, then i guess it's worth it.

That's rich.

lulz

(credit for a pun, c'mon)

If the guy did it to help his son out, not to mention he seems remorseful for what he did, It's a bit hard to condemn him to the fullest.

Gormourn:

Lost In The Void:
Wow this has given me more inspiration not to return to MMOs. The risks in this one in particular is huge.

How is that a risk. It's fake money, that you don't even have to put into some kind of a "guild bank" in most MMOs.

Neat way to get some cash, though. Bwahaha.

I don't know about it being fake money. If it can be converted into money that can be spent in the real world, is it any less real than the "real" money? Fact is it is digital money, that you spend time earning, which you can use to buy stuff, just like real money. And if someone is willing to allow you to trade it for "real" currency, then it is pretty much is real money.

Whats next?????

An EVE Ponzi Scheme??!!

The Shade:

CantFaketheFunk:
Said funds went to cover [...] medical expenses for his son.

I have a hard time condemning him, if for no other reason than this. Wouldn't we have done the same?

He's a thief. If it had stayed in game it would be part of the cutthroat nature of the game (and he'd merely be a virtual thief), but by taking those assets out of game he became a thief. Even if some of the expenses went to pay for his kids med bills he still didn't use ALL the money for that cause and it doesn't negate the fact that it was essentially stolen. Virtual or not the man is a thief and he's lucky they don't prosecute him for violating game rules- hopefully the Australian authorities will at least have the sense to tax him.

I love the idea of a huge bank run in game though.

Stealing to help someone is still stealing and it never mentioned that he didn't have any alternatives to paying those bills. Perhaps he could have helped pay for the bills by giving up his eve account and selling his computer if his son needed the procedure so much. What if someone he fleeced needed that $ to pay for their kids bills? Wouldn't that make the man essentially guilty of depriving the kid of medical care or essentially injuring a child?

If someone is broke should they go rob just to help their family? Are they fully sure that robbing someone else won't make someone else's family destitute thus killing any possible ethical defense for the act? Stealing from someone at the wrong time can be the same as a death sentence even if you just wanted to take material possessions.

Spektre41:
If the guy did it to help his son out, not to mention he seems remorseful for what he did, It's a bit hard to condemn him to the fullest.

He had no remorse- he said he'd do it again if he had to. My friends dad has cancer should I go on a robbing spree to help pay for his treatments? How would you feel if it was YOUR assets compromised?

AkJay:
Well, if it paid for his sons medical bills, then i guess it's worth it.

No it isn't. Does Australia not have any medical care for the poor? Until he sold his luxury items stopped spending $ on nonessentials such as his eve account then he has no moral ground to stand on. If he was too broke to pay for his kid's treatment he shouldn't be playing a pay to play game.

Sevre90210:
For medical expenses I can safely say we all would.

I wouldn't. Begging > theft. The man is a thief no matter how noble his intentions. He may have been able to do a fundraiser or talk to the government for aid. Did anyone else not read the part where he was buying a house?

I wish I had his correspondence info so I could tell him what a self-righteous scumbag he was bringing his kid's medical expenses into what was a blatant selfish cash grab. He is using that as his aegis because it makes it seem ok at the end. He had other options and chose theft thus he's just gutter trash.

Stealing bread to feed a starving family isn't excusable if there is a food bank down the road. He didn't indicate that he had pursued other options for treating his child and looks like he may have just taken the easy route. The sick child was incidental most likely would have been able to have been taken care of through alternate routes. How many people defending the thief would still defend him if all the money went into making a house payment instead of just some of it? How about if he decided to buy a new gaming rig instead?

My issue isn't the ingame theft - thats part of the game. By converting to cash he turned the ingame theft to IRL theft and made himself no better than the creepy dude selling stolen goods at a pawnshop.

Lost In The Void:
Wow this has given me more inspiration not to return to MMOs. The risks in this one in particular is huge.

The only people who get hurt are the idiots who invested in the bank. It's a player invention, and your wallet has no limit.

holy shit, he just made 5,000 bucks for playing a video game! Makes me want to start a giant, trusted bank in an mmo then betray the trust of all my friends and investors...

I wonder if those who purchased the ISK are banned as well? If not, it seems like a broken policing system to me... or a conveniently one-sided system.

SultanP:

Gormourn:

Lost In The Void:
Wow this has given me more inspiration not to return to MMOs. The risks in this one in particular is huge.

How is that a risk. It's fake money, that you don't even have to put into some kind of a "guild bank" in most MMOs.

Neat way to get some cash, though. Bwahaha.

I don't know about it being fake money. If it can be converted into money that can be spent in the real world, is it any less real than the "real" money? Fact is it is digital money, that you spend time earning, which you can use to buy stuff, just like real money. And if someone is willing to allow you to trade it for "real" currency, then it is pretty much is real money.

By that logic everything is money because everything can be exchanged for something or money at some rate.

And I agree with that logic.

But I don't think work generally comes under a definition of an enjoyable activity, and money is hardly hard to make in these games. That's what you get for relying on people too much. Though I wouldn't really care if someone stole all the WoW money I've made through playing the game when I still did - it's just X hours worth of time, and as long as you don't view it as a job and do it in a fun way (like trying to create a monopoly on a number of useful items on auction houses =o)... who cares? You got your enjoyment, which you pay for.

If it is true about how he used the money, then I say it's well worth the ban. People who do it just for greed: I have a bat I want you to meet...real oak.

Echolocating:
I wonder if those who purchased the ISK are banned as well? If not, it seems like a broken policing system to me... or a conveniently one-sided system.

The accounts were banned, but that doesn't stop those slimes from using resources they already have to make new accounts.
As for those asking if Australia has medical coverage for the poor, I believe it works like Medicaid in the US: Covers everything or most of, but once you are out of the fire, you owe most or all of it back. Only thing that gets you out of that is the grim reaper.
And for those who feel the need to judge: The guy knew what he was doing, and that he was sacrificing his account to do it, therefore paying the consequences. I would sacrifice any of my measly MMO accounts if it came down to someone that close to me's life. If an MMO account is more important to you than that, I pity you and those who feel close to you.

Terminalchaos:
[quote="The Shade" post="7.123446.2512336"]
He's a thief. If it had stayed in game it would be part of the cutthroat nature of the game (and he'd merely be a virtual thief), but by taking those assets out of game he became a thief. Even if some of the expenses went to pay for his kids med bills he still didn't use ALL the money for that cause and it doesn't negate the fact that it was essentially stolen. Virtual or not the man is a thief and he's lucky they don't prosecute him for violating game rules-

Prosecute? What, should the Internet Police turn up at his doorstep and slap him with a fine of OVER 9000 lols?

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