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Gamer Pays Debt by Stealing Virtual Funds

An EVE Online gamer simply known as "Ricdic" has been kicked out of the sci-fi MMORPG due to stealing virtual funds and exchanging them for real cash. According to the EVE Online rules, players can only buy virtual money with real cash, or use the virtual funds to pay for a month's subscription, however players cannot sell virtual funds for real world dollars. What made the theft even more tragic than simple theft was that Ricdic was the CEO of EBank, the largest player-run financial institution within the game.

"It was a very on the spot decision," the married father of two explained in an interview. He said that he embezzled about 200 billion interstellar kredits and exchanged the virtual funds for $5,100 to put down as a deposit against his house and pay for the expenses related to his son's medical problems. Ricdic said that he got the idea to steal bank funds from a spam email advertising a black market website that traded virtual kredits for real cash.

"I saw that as an avenue that could be taken, and I decided to skim off the top, you could say, to overcome real life (difficulties)," he said. Once news broke out in regards to the theft, players began to panic. It's unknown whether subscribers began to withdraw funds and deposit them into another virtual institution, however Reuters reported that EBank survived the crisis.

Ned Coker of CCP, the developer behind EVE Online, said that Ricdic could have kept his subscription had he not traded the stolen funds for cash. However, the act broke the subscription service rules, and ultimately unbalances the game if not enforced, according to Coker. It was also noted that Ricdic was a highly reputable player, one of EVE's few trusted subscribers up until now.

Did Ricdic regret is actions? "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," he said.

  • c0r3f1ght3r
    just shows how bad the cost of living is getting...
  • dextermat
  • NuclearShadow
    I honestly feel sorry for the guy. I can understand why he did it.
  • grieve
    I would have done the same thing... He made out with $5100 RL cash. no RL criminal charges, case closed!

    I used to bot toons in games for RL cash, made a couple G... but his way is far easier.
  • Grims
    RL trumps game life. no harm done.
  • kingnoobe
    He did it for his family.. While it was wrong, I can't honestly say I blame him, and if I was in his position I might have done the same thing. And even more he knows what he did was wrong, and is willing to live with the consequences. Looks like there are still some good people in this world.
  • hellwig
    At least the game producers realized the embezzlement was simply a part of life (an unfortunate part), and didn't boot him because he stole the in-game money, but rather because he broke the rules of service.

    Hopefully the people he stole from remember it's just a game, but I have a feeling someone is going to try to sue him, people are just that pathetic.
  • Sicundercover
    Yea I would have to say I would have done the same for my child. Hmmmm choices get banned from a game or help my child? Kinda a no brainer if you ask me.

    But anyway people sell ISK all the time in that game. People also sell toons for RL cash too. I know a few people who have bought extra Hulk pilots and I personally have sold a Rorq pilot.
  • hellwig
    Oops, I should clarify that I don't support embezzlers, and people who do it in real life should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. What I meant was, the Eve Online producers realize that when you simulate an economy on that scale, you are going to simulate the good and bad parts, and can't punish people in real life for their actions in-game. If there were an in-game justice system, I'd be all for sentencing his character Bernie-Madoff style.
  • Yeah, who needs principles or morals... too bad this guy wasn't in charge of a REAL bank with your money in it, or investment company. Like Madoff.

    I mean he did for his family right! I bet you guys wouldn't mind a bit huh?