Alleged video game hacker ordered to pay bail in crypto

A federal judge in the United States has ordered a Serbian-Italian national arrested at the San Francisco International Airport last August 8 to pay the equivalent of $750,000 in cryptocurrency for his bail, Marketwatch reported.

Martin Marsich, 25, was arrested while boarding a flight to Serbia. U.S. federal authorities said Marsich faced charges of infiltrating and hacking into the computer network of San Francisco-based game company Electronic Arts Inc. (EA).

Investigators said Marsich illegally gained access to about 25,000 accounts on EA network, which customers used to buy in-game items. Marsich then sold the information on dark market websites, causing the game company losses worth $324,000. After the intrusion was discovered, EA, one of the world’s largest game development company, shut down all of the accounts that were affected.

At the hearing a day after his arrest, U.S. Federal Judge Jacqueline Corley “ordered Marsich released to a half-way house on the condition that he post the equivalent of $750,000 in cryptocurrency for bail.”

If Marsich was convicted, he faces a maximum imprisonment of five years and a fine of $250,000. He may also face “restitution if appropriate for each violation.”

The first of its kind

This is the first time cryptocurrency will be used as a means of bail payment. U.S. Assistant District Attorney Abraham Simmons claimed that “judges can order many kinds of bail, including real estate owned by another person.” Digital currencies are accepted in federal courts within the United States although they have not become a commonly-used option just yet. However, the Department of Justice did not give any specific reason why the bail payment is in crypto.

Equally, the type of crypto currency wasn’t specified. The bail is fixed at $750,000 and Corley may not have taken into consideration the price fluctuations of cyptocurrency that might occur when Marsich pays his bail.

Corley is a name familiar in the cryptocurrency sector as she was the judge who previously made a ruling against Coinbase when the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filed a suit to obtain information related to crypto transaction from the exchange. She had ordered the cryptocurrency exchange to turn over information from 2013-2015 of U.S. taxpayers who conducted crypto transactions during these years.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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