Bloke, 22, in knockoff Microsoft Xbox ring gets 18 months in the cooler

Source code, blueprints swiped by gang

Man in an orange jumpsuit clutches prison bars. Image by Shutterstock

A 22-year-old member of a games-hacking ring that sold counterfeit Microsoft's Xbox One consoles could spend the next year and a half behind bars in America.

A US court sentenced Canadian David Pokora to 18 months in the slammer for his involvement in a group accused of stealing an estimated $100m to 200m worth of source code and other internal documents from Microsoft, Valve, Epic, and other major games studios.

Pokora, who in September pleaded guilty in a Delaware federal court to charges of conspiracy to commit copyright fraud and intellectual property theft, will also have to serve three years of supervised release.

According to Delaware's News Journal, the conviction is the first in which a foreign national has been tried and sentenced by a US court for intellectual property theft.

Pokora, of Ontario, and three other individuals aged 18-28 have been convicted of charges including computer fraud and the theft of games and console data.

The group, which included Pokora and three US citizens, infiltrated gaming companies' networks and stole unreleased copies of popular games, including titles from the FIFA, Gears of War, and Call of Duty franchises.

They also got hold of schematics for Microsoft's then-unreleased Xbox One gaming console, which they admitted to using to build bootleg versions of the console ahead of its November 2013 launch. The FBI says it intercepted one such console in July of that year that the group had shipped to a buyer in the Republic of Seychelles.

Earlier this month, Indiana resident Austin Alcala became the fourth member of the group to plead guilty. He and the two other members will be sentenced later this year for their roles in the operation. ®


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