Anthony Clark, 24 from California, was convicted of wire fraud in a scheme that involved over $16m worth of FIFA coins.
FIFA is so popular that the in-game currency, FIFA coins, has sparked a black market for trading. A simple Google search returns hundreds of sites that let you buy and sell FIFA coins for real world cash.
The FBI had accused Clark and three others of creating software that logged thousands of in-game matches within a matter of seconds. This hack resulted in EA’s servers crediting Clark and his co-conspirators with illegitimately-obtained FIFA coins, which they then sold on the black market to dealers in Europe and China for over $16m.
Co-conspirators Nick Castellucci, 24, of New Jersey; Ricky Miller, 24, of Arlington, Texas; and Eaton Zveare, 24, of Lancaster, Virginia, previously pleaded guilty and await sentencing. Clark was convicted by a jury sitting in Fort Worth, Texas, of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Sentencing has been scheduled for 27th February, 2017.
The news follows a September court appearance by a British YouTuber with more than 1.3m subscribers who was charged with promoting gambling using FIFA coins.
31 year-old Nepenthez, real name Craig Douglas, was charged with promoting a lottery, advertising unlawful gambling and inviting children to gamble. In October, Douglas, alongside business partner Dylan Rigby, pleaded not guilty. The case has been adjourned until 6th February 2017, when the court will hold a hearing expected to last a week.
EA says that buying coins or pre-loaded accounts from third-party sites violates its Terms of Service and could lead to an account ban.