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Zynga Poker Thief faces long sentence

14/2/2011
A hacker has pleaded guilty to stealing over 400billion virtual poker chips. Ashley Mitchell, from Devon, stole the chips from online gaming firm Zynga, which runs the online poker game and is hugely popular on social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook.

According to the BBC, the poker chips had a face value of £7.4m, but Mitchell was only able to sell £53,000 of the haul before he was caught.

Between June and September 2009, Mitchell is reported to have posed as an administrator on the Zynga servers and siphoned of billions of poker chips to a number of different Facebook accounts.

Zynga only realised something was wrong by the sheer number of chips going missing, and so set up a sting operation to catch the thief.

Mitchell pleaded guilty at Exeter crown court to charges under the Computer misuse act and the Proceeds from crime act, and was warned he faces a lengthy sentence. That was in part due to the fact he already had a suspended prison sentence relating to a charge of hacking his previous employer to the tune of £2000.

Some people never learn.

Richard Berry
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