Apparently even videogame soccer is vulnerable to corruption and graft.
A jury in Texas found four defendants guilty on wire fraud conspiracy charges involving FIFA online games. The quartet, who were nabbed as part of a lengthy FBI investigation, are now facing significant jail time.
Anthony J. Clark and three others were accused of manipulating the value of coins (the in-game currency) in FIFA’s Ultimate Team (FUT) game mode, a sort of digital trading card game built on top of the original football simulator game that’s proven to be a lucrative side hustle for EA Sports. Players use coins to purchase card packs, which they then use to build their “Ultimate Team.” The defendants were charged with developing and using an app to automate Ultimate Team matches to earn coins, which were then sold to shady third-party marketplaces in Europe and China for actual money. They are said to have made upwards of $18 million by the time they got caught.
A date for the sentencing hearing has not been set as of press time.