Remember when coin buying was rife? Well, the FBI are taking action.
Not often you find the Federal Bureau of Investigation wrapped up in a FIFA story, but yesterday, the FBI brought charges against a group of hackers for mining FIFA Coins and then selling them on the Black Market in Europe and China.
The FBI Indictment says that the group built a tool to spoof matches and generate coins at a high rate, before selling these coins to third party sellers, earning millions in the process. They were able to keep their scam running between some point in 2013 and the 17th of September 2015, which is when the FBI stepped in, seized property and began their investigation. that says everything you need to know about how EA were addressing this.
Now, if you ever wondered just how much money could be involved behind the scenes of these coin selling sites, here's a snippet of what was gathered by the FBI in September 2015. Alongside several Xbox 360s and computers, there was also several hundred thousand dollars from accounts registered in the names of 3 members, several luxury cars including a Lamborghini and perhaps one of the key peices of evidence, $2,887,362 from a Bank of America account in the name of the supposed ringleader.
Overall it's suspected that the group made between $15 - $18 million. I guess that shows you why so many YouTubers were reluctant to distance themselves from promoting coin sellers.
Alongside the clue of dropping an obscene amount of money into a BOA account, which is madness, the FBI were apparently also helped out by a member of Xbox Underground, a collection of hackers affiliated with the group, who helped them get hold of Xbox 360 dev kits and also helped reverse engineer a pirated copy of FIFA 14. One of the members of Xbox Underground seems to have been extremely co operative with the FBI, providing access to his online messages and accounts, which helped lead to the group's indictment.
The trial began yesterday in Texas, so we'll keep an eye on it as it moves forward.