Zynga Poker hacker faces two years in prison for stealing $12M in chips


Remember that guy who stole (and somehow expected to get away with) $12 million from Zynga Poker? That hacker, Ashley Mitchell, faces a two-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to British Court for his, erm, hackery in 2009, Poker News Daily reports. The thief stole 400 billion poker chips from Zynga's popular poker game, which the company valued at $12 million would it had been able to sell them through normal means. The total that Mitchell scored after selling them on eBay through a long list of fake Facebook accounts? He made away with a fraction of that: $85,870.

If he wasn't caught in the process, Mitchell could have easily made away with $300 thousand, his prosecutor estimated. Has this guy ever seen Office Space? Hackers never prosper ... unless you're Angelina Jolie. In his defense, Mitchell's attorney claimed that he suffered a gambling addiction at the time when the crime was committed.

In response, Judge Philip Wassail said, "People rely on computer systems. Anyone who has managed to get into these systems for their own ends should expect a stiff sentence." And a stiff sentence he received--Mitchell will sit in the slammer for another 30 weeks for dodging a 40-week suspended sentence for hacking into his local council in 2008. And just think, Mitchell could have played in a $100 thousand prize pool tournament in this past weekend's Zynga PokerCon if he just played by the rules.

[Image Credit: Torch Alumni]

How long do you think Mitchell should have been sentenced? What steps do you think Zynga should make to prevent future hacking incidents in its games? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.

Originally published