Whittier man awaiting sentencing for $16 million wire fraud targeting FIFA Football video game found dead

WHITTIER >> A 27-year-old man awaiting sentencing for his role in a $16 million wire fraud scheme revolving around the popular FIFA soccer video game was found dead in his home last month of unknown causes, authorities said.
Anthony Jordan Clark was found unresponsive on Feb. 26 at his home in the 14600 block of Montevideo Drive in Whittier, according to Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operation Ed Winter. An autopsy has been conducted, but Clark’s cause of death is yet to be determined pending the results of forensic testing.
He was initially scheduled to be sentenced in federal court the following day, though the sentencing hearing was re-scheduled in mid-February to April 3, federal court records show. He faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, as well as $250,000 in fines and restitution for the fraudulently obtained $16 million.
A federal jury convicted Clark in November of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in November following a three-day trial in the Department of Justice’s Northern District of Texas, where the case was initially filed.
A federal judge granted a motion to dismiss the case against the late convict on March 16, “in the interest of justice,” records show.
His three codefendants had already pleaded guilty in connection with the case, and each face the same potential maximum sentences.
Eaton Svear is scheduled to be sentenced on March 29 in his home state of Virginia. Nicholas Castelluci is to for sentencing April 24 in his home state of New Jersey and Ricky Miller is scheduled to be sentenced May 1 in his home state of Texas.
The men’s scheme centered around “FIFA Coins,” an electronic currency within the FIFA Football video game, produced by California-based Electronic Arts. Gamers use the coins, which are generally earned through gameplay, to make purchases within the game, U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Kathy Colvin explained.
But players also purchase coins from one another in a secondary marketplace, she said in a written statement.
By hacking into EA’s servers and circumventing security measures, Clark and his crew managed to fraudulently get their hands on more than $16 million worth of the digital, in-game currency.
They created software that tricked EA computers into logging thousands of hours of gameplay within a matter of a seconds, resulting in the awarding of unearned FIFA Coins, Colvin said.

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