U.S. Judge Commands Hacker To Fulfill Bail With Crypto

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This week, a US judge requested a bail payment from an online hacker via a cryptocurrency transaction. The order was made after Martin Marsich was charged with allegedly hacking a network of computers that are owned by the Electronic Arts video game company. A bail payment of $750,000 was requested, to be paid with the equivilant value of cryptocurrencies. 

Martin Marsich To Pay $750,000 Bail In Cryptocurrency

On the 25th of March, a criminal complaint was filed against Martin Marsich, who is a 25-year-old Italian/Serbian individual. Several months following the complaint, on the 8th of August, Marsich was arrested while he boarded a flight at the San Francisco International Airport, where he was supposed to head for Serbia. One day after his arrest, Marsich appeared in the San Francisco Federal Court under the watchful eye of a judge. 

Magistrate Judge Corley handled the case in court and ordered that Marsich is to be released, but only on the condition that a bail payment of $750,000 is paid through the use of a cryptocurrency. 

The case against Marsich was filed after he was accused of hacking computers at Electronic Arts Inc, one of the world’s largest video game development companies. Marsich was accused of causing the video game company to suffer a loss of $324,000 after hacking the firm’s system, along with stealing accounts. The system was also hacked in order to illegally purchase “in-game items”, which was then sold on websites that specialize in “black market transactions” for cold, hard cash.

No reason was given as to why the bail was set to be paid in cryptocurrency. Even though it does seem strange to many, bails are often set to be paid in assets other than physical cash. Estate, for example, is often demanded as payment for several bails that are ruled in Federal Court. 

This event marked the first case where cryptocurrency was decided as the asset of interest in a bail payment. These digital coins are accepted in federal courts within the United States, but just haven’t become a commonly-used option just yet.

The US Judge who made this ruling had previously ruled against Coinbase, one of the foremost cryptocurrency-centric platforms. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service had previously filed to obtain information regarding cryptocurrency-related transactions from Coinbase. The American platform has been widely considered as the most prominent crypto exchange in the U.S. and has become relatively well-known throughout the world. 

No specific details were given as to the type of cryptocurrency the alleged individual was ordered to pay with. It was mentioned that the bail payment amount might be appropriately changed should fluctuations occur between the date the bail was ordered and the actual date at which Marsich completes the transaction. Fluctuations in cryptocurrency prices are seen continuously, with Bitcoin’s price fluctuating by as much as $500 in a single day during the past week. There are, however, no guarantees that the court would care about a fluctuation in cryptocurrency values – and the bail amount might be fixed at $750,000, even when an “extreme” fluctuation is observed prior to the bail payment. 

It was further mentioned that, should Marsich be convicted, he will face up to five years in prison. Additionally, he may also be charged with an additional fine of approximately $250,000. But whether this $250,000 will also be ordered as a cryptocurrency payment is not known yet. 

An FBI Agent filed a criminal complaint against a 25-year-old after he was caught hacking into the network of the giant game development company, Electronic Arts. A Federal US Judge charged Marsich with a $750,000 bail. He was requested to pay his pay with the use of a cryptocurrency. No further details were announced regarding why the bail payment was set to a digital currency instead of physical money. 

Amna El Tawil is an experienced journalist with a strong background in financial writing. She is a cryptocurrency enthusiast and has been writing about digital currencies since 2016. When not writing, Amna can probably be found in bed with a book cuddling with her beloved Siberian Husky.

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