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Finnish Teenager Uses Software Glitch to Steal €250,000 from Maltese Online Casino
- August 22, 2018 By Oliver Young -
Proving that younger people have a better grasp on technology, a teen from a small Finnish town near Helsinki finds a software glitch while using a European online casino. But instead of reporting the bug to the online operator, the tech-savvy teenager exploited the bug to accrue a small fortune for himself and then share it with his parents, who spent some of the money on personal items.
Quarter of a Million Stolen by Chance
According to reports from local news source YLE and Times of Malta, a teenager from the Forssa municipality in Finland was brought in front of the Häme District Court on Monday for charges of aggravated fraud. During the hearing, it was concluded that the teenager, who is only identified as being near 18 years of age, has deliberately abused a glitch in the system of an online casino to siphon customers’ money out of the operator.
As indicated by reports, the casino, which is to remain unnamed, had a bug in its payment system that allowed users to cancel their withdrawals in a way that allowed for the refund to be paid in the user’s bank account as well as an online wallet. By using this system bug, he was able to steal more than €252,000 from the Maltese online casino over the course of 417 refunds which were initiated between the months of April and May last year. Reportedly, he was able to register at the casino by using a fake date of birth.
The exploit might have been repeated again if it weren’t for an employee of the online casino who discovered the scam around two months later, in July 2017. The teenager, who is now near legal age, is to hear a ruling on his case by this September 3rd.
Parents Take a Bite of Stolen Money
Using software weaknesses to steal from casinos isn’t anything new in the gambling industry. There were cases before where bugs were used to illegally rob a casino, like the 2015 instance when 150,000 credit cards were stolen from a land-based casino with a week software infrastructure. But what’s different about this case is that it was not only a very lucky coincidence but also a criminal case where parents were directly involved.
Namely, according to the news reports, the teenager’s father is also facing charges of aggravated money laundering for directly participating in the offense. Allegedly, the father was caught with €14,000 of the stolen funds in his bank account. Furthermore, the mother was also involved, having had €2,300 of the stolen money in her personal account which the son reportedly transferred to her. She also possessed a motorcycle worth of €5,000 which was bought with some of the money.
The prosecution is now asking for a 20-month sentence for the teenager who abused the bug to steal the money. His father is facing a suspended sentence of five months while the mother is reportedly facing a suspended sentence that is more lenient.