Riot Games Co-Founder’s Credit Card Details Used for Defrauding $5 Million in Crypto Mining Scam
Marc Merrill, the millionaire co-founder of the Riot Games found himself involved in a scam worth $5 million which started in November 2014. It was found that Merrill's American Express credit card information was not only stolen but was used by the thief for buying cloud mining power from tech Giants like Amazon, Google, and many others for mining cryptocurrencies. The court recently unsealed the details of the case for the public.
The accused responsible for stealing Merrill's credit card information was identified as Matthew Ho, a Singaporean National. Investigators said that Mr. Ho used the stolen credit card to buy computational power in order to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether until January 2018. The prosecutors in the case claimed that Ho amounted a bill of $5 million from the stolen credit card info.
The filings also revealed that at least one payment of $135,000 was made using the Merrill's card in December 2017. Surprisingly the info for the Credit Card which Ho got hold of was Merrill's primary card as it was often used to pay for Riot Games’ actual Amazon Web Services cloud computing products.
Ho tricked Amazon
Ho tricked Amazon services into believing that he was indeed the millionaire co-founder of Riot Games by using a fake driving license with Merrill's name and a Gmail address which was made to look like it belonged to the co-chairman. For further proof, he also gave one of Merrill's original home addresses.
When he was authorized by Amazon cloud services and even given certain elevated access to cloud service thinking he was their high profile customer, Ho went on to use the same email address to get access to Google Cloud services. The feds found out that Ho made a total of 16 payments to the Google cloud services using Merrill's stolen credit card.
Ho used to sell all the mined cryptocurrencies on LocalBitcoins, a peer-to-peer crypto market place. Ho has pinpointed as chief suspect thanks to the IP address and login data provided by data like IP addresses and login information provided by Amazon, Google, Facebook, and others. He was arrested by the Singaporean police on September 26th and currently being investigated for his crime.