EA Hacker Martin Marsich Ordered to Post $750,000 Bail in Crypto

Martin Marsich, EA hacker, was ordered to post his $750k bail in cryptocurrency.

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Martin Marsich was accused and charged with illegally accessing the network of the famous gaming company Electronic Arts (EA). A judge has ordered Marsich to post his bail in cryptocurrencies.

Judges in the US have the freedom to chose how a defendant can post their bail. The judge selected crypto given that Martin Marsich’s property and assets mainly comprised cryptocurrencies.

Marsich was arrested in San Francisco National Airport last week while attempting to board a flight to Serbia, and appeared in court on August 9 over a criminal complaint.

According to the official press release by the United States Department of Justice:

Marsich was arrested at San Francisco International Airport last night and made his initial appearance in federal court in San Francisco today. Magistrate Judge Corley ordered Marsich released to a half-way house on the condition that he post the equivalent of $750,000 in cryptocurrency for bail.

The charges against the EA hacker

Marisch, 25, who has both Italian and Serbian citizenship was last known to live in Italy before his arrest.

Martin Marsich hit with charges relating to hacking or illegal intrusion of EA Games servers in order to steal in-game currency of a Bay area video game owned by Electronic Arts.

Electronic Arts (EA) which has assets worth over $8.5 billion, and is responsible for games like FIFA, Battlefield, and Star Wars Battlefront.

His case was presided upon by Magistrate Judge Corley, U.S. Attorney Alex G. Tse and FBI Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett.

The crime and court verdict

Marsich allegedly used the information he illegally obtained from the computer network to obtain in-game currency, which is used to buy and sell in-game items.

The affidavit read in court stated that a Bay area video game company learned that they had been hacked and that the intruder had gained access to 25,000 accounts that allow customers to purchase items for use in video games.

Prosecutors stated that he was able to transfer copies of the soccer video game FIFA to 17,000 accounts and added FIFA in-game currency packs to 8,000 accounts.

The video game company accused Marsich of selling access to online games on black market websites.

EA stated that the losses sustained from closing the compromised and stolen video game accounts was approximately $324,000.

After appearing in court on Thursday, Magistrate Judge Corley ordered Marsich released to a half-way house on the condition that he post the equivalent of $750,000 in cryptocurrency for bail.

In what may seem as an unusual bail, the equivalent of $750,000 can be paid in Bitcoin or any other altcoin as Marisch sees fit.

U.S. judges can set bail terms at their own discretion based on what assets the defendant has access to — property can also be used to post bail charges.

The set bail suggests that Marisch apparently has access to a large sum of cryptocurrency, enabling him to potentially foot the bill.

Growing usage of cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies have transformed many financial markets, finding usage in many industries, and now would be used for paying bills.

Marsich’s case is the going to become the first where an individual has to pay for bail in cryptocurrency directly without converting it first.

However, while his case is unique, it is not the first time a bail would be made from money generated from cryptocurrencies.

Motherboard reports that Bronx Freedom remotely mines and donates cryptocurrency to the cause and prevent people from being imprisoned while awaiting trial.

The Bronx Freedom Fund is an initiative allowing people to dedicate CPU power to crowdfund bail money for people who can’t afford their bails.

With the growing influence of cryptocurrencies, EA’s co-founder Jeff Burton recently ventured into mining, joining the Dragonglass crypto mining venture in the process.

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