Feds Drop "Hacking" Charges Against Video Poker Jackpot Winners
May 8, 2013 9:50 AM
comment(s) - last by
Men still face a single count of wire fraud for exploiting bug in the machines
Following an outburst of public outcry over a pair of men
facing up to five years in federal prison
for "exceeding authorized use" and
exploiting a bug in video poker casino machines to win big
, the two charged counts under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 (
18 USC § 1030
) have been dropped.
U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada
Federal Judge Miranda Du
cited a recent
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
[PDF], which sought to more strictly confine the ambiguous wording of the CFAA to prevent abuse. She demanded prosecutors to justify their use under the 9th Circuit's
ruling; federal prosecutors were unable to so they dropped the CFAA charges against co-defendants John Kane, 54, and Andre Nestor, 41.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Chu wrote in a
[PDF] obtained by
, "The United States of America, by and through the undersigned attorneys, hereby moves this Court to dismiss Counts 2 and 3 of the Indictment."
Prosecutors had argued previously that the sequence of buttons needed to activate the programming error constituted "hacking". But they were unable to defend that opinion in the face of the recent regional scale-back of the CFAA, when defense lawyers argued that the co-defendants were simply playing by the rules of the machine (rules which were broken).
The pair used their trick on the Game King multi-game machine. [Image Source: IGT]
That leaves a single count of wire fraud against each man. The wire fraud charges (
18 U.S.C. § 1343
) are built on the premise that the defendants used phone conversations to plan to defraud the plaintiffs (the casinos), a federal offense. Of course, given that the feds couldn't even make the accusation that they "hacked" (a form of fraud) stick, the fraud-based claim seems pretty questionable.
Mr. Kane's counsel --
, a veteran LV lawyer -- comments, "The case never should have been filed under the CFAA, it should have been just a straight wire fraud case. And I'm not sure its even a wire fraud. I guess we'll find out when we go to trial.'"
In a previous interview he had stated, "They’re going to have real tough time with the wire fraud. I never really understood why the federal government took this case in the first place."
Now with one victory in hand he looks to beat back this final federal charge.
U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada via Wired [PDF]
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: what rules
5/8/2013 11:07:46 AM
Yes, I would say he operated the machines exactly in the manner in which they were designed/programmed, maybe not in the way they were
to operate, but nonetheless, a machine can only operate in a manner in which it was designed.
He was rather stupid and greedy though. He could have easily made 50 or 60 thousand a year without raising too many suspicions. If I discovered such a flaw, I wouldn't tell a soul. He killed the proverbial egg laying goose with his greed.
RE: what rules
5/8/2013 11:16:59 AM
Yep, I wouldn't tell anyone either. I would just do it once a month at different casinos. I would also intentionally lose a few.
“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
Man May be Sent to Prison for Exploiting Firmware Bug in Poker Machine
May 2, 2013, 11:48 AM
Goatse Security iPad Hacker Gets 41 Months for "Doing Arithmetic"
March 18, 2013, 11:06 PM
Apple and Samsung See Virtual Tie in Q3 U.S. Sales, Nokia Seizes Fourth
December 5, 2013, 8:00 PM
AT&T Goes After T-Mobile with Reduced Off-Contract Prices, New Base Rates
December 5, 2013, 11:28 AM
MSI Unveils 3K Resolution GT60 Gaming, Workstation Notebooks
December 5, 2013, 11:00 AM
No iPhone for Obama Due to Security Concerns
December 5, 2013, 9:57 AM
New Reversible "Type-C" USB Plug Coming in Mid-2014
December 4, 2013, 10:38 AM
IDC Reports PC Shipments Will Decline by Double Digits in 2013
December 4, 2013, 10:18 AM
Most Popular Articles
NSA Snares Americans' Porn Viewing Histories in Effort to Target Muslims
December 1, 2013, 9:00 PM
Coalition of 20+ Tech Firms Backs MRAM as Potential DRAM, NAND Replacement
November 29, 2013, 11:59 PM
Dow Chemical to NYC City Council: You Don't Even Know What Styrofoam is!
December 2, 2013, 8:30 PM
Fed Up With Cheating OEMs, Microsoft Trolls Chromebooks in New Ad
November 27, 2013, 4:09 PM
OCZ Goes Bankrupt, SSD Assets are Targeted by Toshiba
December 1, 2013, 9:58 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
Is The Period Becoming an Expression of Anger?
Nov 26, 2013, 2:02 PM
NSA and Congress -- You Will Never Kill the Constitution, It's an Idea
Nov 10, 2013, 2:00 PM
AT&T Explores $100B+ USD Deal to Acquire Vodafone's European Operations
Nov 4, 2013, 7:34 AM
U.S. Army Developing Cyber, Electronic War Arsenal
Oct 31, 2013, 4:49 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information