Woman embezzles $166,000 ... and spends a bit of it on Mafia Wars

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Believe it or not, but social games have driven people to do crazier things. Nevertheless, 54-year-old Augusta, Maine woman Bettysue Higgins pleaded guilty in court to embezzling $166,000 from Maine Trial Lawyers where she was an administrative assistant. According to Kennebec Journal, Kennebec County Superior Court prosecutor claimed much of it was spent on social games.

Namely Mafia Wars and YoVille, the prosecutor found. In addition to 220 checks written out in Higgins's name since 2006, the former assistant wrote 78 checks in her name between January 2010 and Sept. 10, 2010. The funds from all 78 checks deposited into her account went directly to Zynga's games. Defense attorney Ronald Bourget said that, according to her bank account statement for February 2010, Higgins had spent $4,000 on the games. Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin said, "Apparently she was buying virtual coins for virtual property in a virtual world."

Higgins covered her tracks by doctoring accounting records, but the company's executive director, David Prince, found out about the embezzlement when a check he wrote for $5,500 had bounced. Now, the woman faces six years in prison and three years of probation, but only if she pays up to $700 more than what she stole. Considering her home is in foreclosure, that's unlikely.

Crime and social games is nothing new: Men have stolen from the elderly for game cash, and women have all but neglected their children to get more time with their digital poison of choice. But elaborate embezzlement schemes to fuel said addictions sounds like a new approach.

[Via Kotaku]

What do you think of this case as it relates to getting hooked on social games? What's the craziest thing you've done to get in some game time or even buy some in-game cash? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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