Virtual Embezzlement Used to Pay for Real Debts
Think of it as virtual embezzlement. Not only that, once word of the theft spread, a run was made on the bank, EBank, making things worse.
The CEO of EBank, was a 27-year-old Australian tech worker with the handle Ricdic. Only his first name has been revealed (Richard); he embezzled about 200 billion interstellar kredits (ISK), the game's virtual currency.
He exchanged the ISK for $5,100 with players who prefer to buy funds rather than earn it playing the game. Not unusual for players to do so; it's the reason there is a market for virtual goods in these types of games.
Ned Coker, of Icelandic company CCP which runs EVE Online, told Reuters:
"Basically this character was one of the people who had been running EBank for a while. He took a bunch of (virtual) money out of the bank, and traded it away for real money."
Meanwhile, Ricdic told Reuters:
"I'm not proud of it at all, that's why I didn't brag about it. But you know, if I had to do it again, I probably would've chosen the same path based on the same situation."
Ricdic apparently used the resulting cash to put down a deposit on a house and to pay medical bills. The medical bills I could probably forgive; the deposit? Not so much.
Eve Online has about 300,000 players inhabiting an online universe. The game centers around interstellar trade, mining asteroids and player-controlled corporations. Interestingly, in 2006 the EVE Interstellar Bank had a similar theft, with the proprietor of the EIB, known as "Cally," stole around 790 billion ISK.