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Riot Games co-founder defrauded in $5m crypto scam

Marc Merrill – the millionaire co-founder of Riot Games – has allegedly been defrauded of $5 million as a result of a cloud mining cryptocurrency scam.

In November 2014, Merrill’s American Express credit card details were used to purchase cloud computing services under his name from the likes of Amazon and Google.

Investigators claim that the servers were then used to illicitly mine cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Matthew Ho, a Singaporean national, has been accused of stealing Merrill’s identity to make the purchase.

Amazingly, it took until January 2018 to be noticed, by which time Ho had managed to steal $5 million using Amazon’s cloud computing servers.

The charges were originally brought against Ho in October 2019 but the victim’s name had not previously been revealed, reports Forbes.

The fraudster created a fake Californian driving license that bore Merrill’s name and used an email address that appeared legitimate for the co-chairman.

Investigators have also said that Ho even provided Amazon with Merrill’s home address as further proof of identity.

Since Riot Games also uses Amazon’s cloud computing servers and Merrill was already a well-established customer, once the swindler gained control of the accounts he was given, he had “access to substantially elevated levels of cloud computer services”.

The Riot Games studio is best known for developing the smash-hit League of Legends video game, which is believed to have made a staggering $20 billion since its release.

Upon successfully mining the cryptocurrency, Ho reportedly sold it on LocalBitcoins.

He was arrested by Singaporean police on September 26 and is currently being investigated for various alleged offences.

Riot Games and Amazon have been contacted by Coin Rivet, but no response has been received at the time of writing.

Interested in reading more crypto crime-related stories? Discover more about an individual being arrested after being accused of running a scam he called the ‘Bitcoin of the Middle East‘.

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