- Riot Games Co-Founder Marc Merrill reportedly lost $5 million in a crypto scam.
- A fraudster used his credentials to purchase Amazon cloud computing servers.
- It took nearly four years for the fraud to be discovered.
One of the co-founders of Riot Games, the developer behind League of Legends, has reportedly lost $5 million in a major cryptocurrency scam. Matthew Ho, a Singaporean national, is alleged to have used Marc Merill’s credit card information to purchase Amazon cloud computing technology.
Beginning in November 2014, Ho used Merill’s American Express credit card information to purchase cloud computing technology from Amazon, Google, and other providers. A total of $5 million was spent on Amazon’s cloud computing technology, though the court doesn’t say if the whole bill was paid. This cloud computing technology was then used to mine for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether. These cryptocurrencies were then sold on localbitcoins.net, though it’s unclear how much money Ho made by doing this.
A recently discovered unsealed indictment in the United States reveals more information about Ho was able to get away with this until January 2018. Ho used Merill’s real home address, a fake Californian driver’s license, and a Gmail email address that looked as though it could be Merill’s to prove to Amazon that he was the real Merill.
Riot Games uses Amazon’s cloud computing technology and Merill was a customer; his American Express credit card had been used to purchase these services before. This allowed Ho to “access to substantially elevated levels of cloud computer services,” wrote investigators.
Merill was not the only person to be affected by the crypto scam. Two other people, from Texas in the United States and India are alleged to have been defrauded by the same man. It’s unclear how knew Merill’s address and American Express information, but Ho remains under arrest in Singapore and he is being investigated for several charges.