Zynga Poker Chips Hacker Receives Two-Year Jail Term
It's not nice to steal and resell Zynga poker chips in an elaborate scheme to defraud Facebook's most popular application. In fact, one IT expert and UK resident, Ashley Mitchell, recently found out that his theft and reselling of the highly sought after Zynga poker chips will land him behind bars for a term of two years. Mitchell is likely one of countless individuals involved in the black market of stealing and selling virtual poker chips from the Zynga Texas Hold'em Application on Facebook and profiting by illegally selling them in places like on-line auction websites.
Mitchell's scheme, called "sophisticated" by the judge who sentenced him after he pleaded guilty to five charges of theft, involved his hacking into the Zynga system in order to transfer 400 billion poker chips into an assortment of Facebook accounts he had set up under assumed names. Then Mitchell registered with well-known auction site e-bay in order to list the Zynga poker chips for sale, racking up a handsome profit of more than $85,000 before he was busted for his hacking scheme. Prior to being caught, Mitchell had managed to sell about one-third of the virtual chips he had illegally transferred into his account. Officials at Zynga estimate that the value worth if this chips was $12 million, comparable to a big bank heist.
Even though the defense argued that since Zynga poker is not a real money-stakes game, Zynga poker chips have no real value, participants who play the game are well aware of the company's rules that the chips they accumulate playing in the game cannot be resold to others. But the thriving secondary market for chips driven by players who would rather buy their virutal chips rather than win them outright proved too tempting for Mitchell, who was charged with four counts of converting criminal property as well as for a violation of the Computer Misuse Act.
The case against hacker Mitchell, one of the first involving the world of digital rather than real currency, is likely just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the theft and resale of such online assets as Zynga poker chips. Legal experts say that Mitchell's case has now set a precedent because the court recognized the virtual Zynga chips as property with real value that deserves to be covered by the criminal laws of the UK.
So we advice you, do not try to hack zynga poker ever, you could get into serious trouble