A hacker rips off Farmville and Mafia Wars

Did he imagine himself a Mafia man?

Ashley Mitchell from Britain broke into game creator Zynga's mainframe computer, impersonated the identities of two employees and stole 400 billion in virtual gaming chips, worth about £7 million ($11.4 million.) He sold part of the chips on Facebook and made £53,612 in two months. He said he did it to fund his online gambling addiction.

He also bought a Rolex.

At first the company suspected the two employees, and then realized the system had been hacked. They narrowed their search to a town in the UK, where police confiscated computers. But the computers belonged to Mr. Mitchell's neighbors. Mr. Mitchell had been accessing them through their unsecured WiFi wireless connections.

Mr. Mitchell was finally caught because during one break-in attempt he used his own Facebook profile to hack into the system.

Was he also caught because he had confused fake robbery with real robbery?

He was sentenced to two years in jail.

Ashley Mitchell may not have imagined the consequences.

A real-world mafia consequence - the 1979 
assassination of mobster Carmine Galante. 

- British hacker jailed over £7m virtual gaming chips scam. Ashley Mitchell broke into Zynga's mainframe, transferred chips from employees to himself and sold them through Facebook. Guardian UK>>
- Prison for hacker who stole online poker chips, This is South Devon>>

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