Home > Security/Exploits > Founder and CEO of EBank steals 200bn to fund a downpayment on a house.

Founder and CEO of EBank steals 200bn to fund a downpayment on a house.

Ok, if you’re worried this is another Madoff story calm down – the likelihood is that your greens are still safe.

Following on from my recent post on Gold Farming, I thought I’d mention the case in early June of the CEO of the on line bank EBank in the game “Eve Online” – now, before you hit back in frustration about another irrelevant “game” article, think about this – CEO Ricdic cashed out some 200 billion credits of stolen virtual money from the bank he founded, and used the resulting  US$6000 hard cash to pay medical bills and put a down payment on a house – yes, a REAL house, in the REAL world.

Ricdic was one of the founders of EBank, and was inteterviewed by Jacob Mie back in November 2008 (around 6 months prior to the theft) about what inspired him to create the bank. One gem in the interview which had me off my chair laughing is his answer to the question “what stops you walking away with the money”:

Jacob Mei: Aside from trust, what stops you from just walking away with the now one trillion ISK that EBANK has acquired from its customers?

Ricdic: We have very strict internal security procedures as was mentioned above. No one player has access to an amount of funding that could hurt the bank. I have access to the most in EBANK and generally even if I were to scam my yield would be approximately 130 billion isk (barely 10% of EBANK value). Most of our funds are tied up in investments, loans and subsidiary corporations that are secured by multiple members of staff.

Actual picture of Ricdic

Actual picture of Ricdic

Obviously, he must have had a change of heart since then, or maybe it was some cunning master plan. Ricdic (or Richard, married with 2 from Australia) is not saying.

One thing he did though, was admit guilt – when questioned by Reuters on whether he regretted it, he simply replied:

“I’m not proud of it at all, that’s why I didn’t brag about it,” Ricdic told Reuters. “But you know, if I had to do it again, I probably would’ve chosen the same path based on the same situation.”

The final gem in this story, is that it was almost legal – or rather, Ricdic’s embezzlement of the funds was quite within the terms of the game.

Sure he’d be a criminal (in the game), but to steal, cheat and kill etc is quite acceptable behaviour in Eve Online (abet you suffer the consequences). Ricdic’s conversion though of the stolen credits into real money is strictly against the terms and conditions, and thus he has been banned and vilified, both in the game, and in “first life”.

A fitting punishment perhaps, and dare I say, more severe than many “real world” CEO’s

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