Despite Being Ordered to Pay Bail In Cryptocurrency, FBI Denied Digital Assets Bail

Despite Being Ordered to Pay Bail In Cryptocurrency, FBI Denied Bail With Digital Assets

The San Francisco federal court is getting used to the cryptocurrency world lately, as yet another hacking case came to their doorstep. On August 8th, Martin Marsich stands accused of illegally accessing the internal system of Electronic Arts, compromising the privacy and security of 25,000 customer accounts. During the hearing before Judge Jacqueline Corley, she decided that his bail would be set at $750,000. However, based on the information presented, his only options for payment appeared to be either BTC or one of the many altcoins.

The hacking took place from September 24th, 2017 to March 25th, 2018. In this case, Electronic Arts managed to incur $324,000 in losses, but that was not the only risk it took on. The allegations against Marsich show that he stole the account information of these customers, and even put them at risk due to the dark web. Still, the goal of Judge Corley was not so much to “maintain the value of any particular asset,” but instead to make sure that Marsich would “comply with an order to appear later.”

Regardless of the payout requirements, Marsich was ordered to come back to court soon after. A cryptocurrency wallet was even setup for Marsich to perform the transfer, if he accrued the funds. Unfortunately, the courts were faced with a frustrating dilemma when faced with the volatility of the market. With a sale of such a substantial amount of coins, the market shift could cause their value to drop, making it much less than the amount due for bail.

As a result of these regulations, the federal authorities ended up changing their minds, saying that it was not possible for the courts to accept cryptocurrency of any kind as the collateral for bail. Instead, they said that the defendant would be required to sell $200,000 worth of the cryptocurrency he had, which he would need to employ a broker to do. Essentially, it comes down to a poor call made by the judge and the lack of structure for cryptocurrency to be involved in court proceedings as payment.

As of August 22nd, at 11:20am PST, it does not appear as though Marsich has made the sale or paid bail.

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