What the heck ?! One can imagine that if someone steals almost a quarter of a million dollars to spend on gambling, some of that money will be refunded in winnings. Unfortunately for the Australian woman, the slot machine simulator she played is not paid in real money, but simply in a large number of virtual tokens that she kept buying.
ABC reports that Tasmanian, Australia resident Rachel Naomi Perry pleaded guilty to 25 computer fraud charges and one fraud count in court this week. She carried out 475 fraudulent transactions while working at a Tasmanian Veterinary Hospital between 2016 and 2019, according to the prosecutor, stealing A $ 940,221 ($ 680,000) in total.
Perry used the stolen money to fund her addiction to a mobile slot machine simulator. Heart of Vegas Slots… The game, which has over 10 million downloads and a 4.1 user rating, recreates the Las Vegas slot experience by giving players the option to buy virtual coins to spend on them. However, these tokens cannot be returned in real money; you just keep spending winnings on games.
The “Terms and Conditions” section of Heart of Vegas Slots explains that players “may be required to pay a fee to receive virtual items,” but “regardless of the terminology used, virtual items can never be exchanged for ‘real world’ money.”
“The games are intended for an adult audience. The games do not offer “real money gambling” or the opportunity to win real money or prizes, ”the description says. “Practice or success at social casino gambling does not imply future success at ‘real money gambling’.
The veterinary practitioner realized what Perry had done only after she was fired in 2019 and the veterinarian discovered anomalies on bank statements. Police also discovered that Perry fraudulently took out a $ 30,000 credit card in her husband’s name in 2015 without his knowledge and added $ 24,000 of debt to the card at the expense of Heart of Vegas expenses. She also “took out some credit cards and personal loans” to quench her habit.
Perry, a long-time gambling addict, was diagnosed with severe gambling disorder.
Perry immediately confessed to her actions when she confronted the police, admitting that she was expecting a “knock on the door.”
Back in 2018, U.S. Congressman Duncan Hunter and his wife were charged with misuse of more than $ 250,000 of campaign funds for personal spending, including $ 1,500 for Steam games. Hunter claimed that his teenage son was responsible for one charge, while others were linked to his attempts to block access to the platform. He was sentenced to 11 months in prison but has never been behind bars since his pardon by Donald Trump last December.