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California Judge Orders Accused Hacker to Pay Bail in Crypto

A Serbian and Italian national has been ordered to pay bail in cryptocurrency while he faces charges that he hacked the computer network of a San Francisco game company.

According to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office, an FBI investigation found that an individual, later alleged to be Martin Marsich, had illegally breached the gaming firm’s network, gaining access to around 25,000 accounts through which users could buy in-game items.

As well as allegedly using stolen information to buy and sell in-game items, Marsich is also accused of selling access to the accounts on dark market websites, in total causing claimed losses of $324,000 to the company. The firm apparently closed the affected accounts after the intrusion was discovered, the report says.

The accused made an initial appearance at a federal court in San Francisco on Aug. 9, after reportedly being arrested at San Francisco International Airport while trying to board a flight to Serbia.

At the hearing, Magistrate Judge Corley said Marsich could be released to a halfway house on the condition that he hands over bail of cryptocurrency to the value of $750,000.

According to a report from The Daily Post, Assistant District Attorney Abraham Simmons said it was likely not the first time cryptocurrency had been allowed to be put up for bail, since judges can accept other assets such as real estate.

Simmons was quoted as saying:

“It really is quite broad. The judge could order just about anything. What the objective is is to get the defendant to comply with an order to appear later.”

Marsich faces a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 if found guilty, the Attorney’s Office says.

Handcuffs and bitcoin image via Shutterstock

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