Judge sets bail at $750K in cryptocurrency for alleged EA hacker

Break out the bitcoin or stay locked up.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
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A San Francisco judge has set bail in cryptocurrency for an alleged hacker.

Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Corley last week set bail at $750,000 in cryptocurrency -- such as bitcoin or ethereum -- for a Serbian man accused of hacking video game company Electronic Arts , according to the US Attorney's Office.

Cryptocurrency is often associated with ransomware and criminal activities on the web, but it's gained some mainstream standing as more retailers begin accepting digital currencies.

This likely isn't the first time a US judge has allowed cryptocurrency for bail, Assistant District Attorney Abraham Simmons told the Palo Alto Daily Post. Judges can order "just about anything" for bail, Simmons said, adding that the point is to get a defendant to show up in court.

The man, Martin Marsich, is accused of hacking into EA's internal computer network, according to an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Justin Griggs. He allegedly gained access to copies of the game FIFA 2018, as well as to in-game currency packs, and then offered them for sale on black market sites. EA suffered a loss of approximately $324,000 due to the activity, according to the US Attorney's Office.

If convicted, Marsich could face a maximum sentence of five years jail time, a fine of $250,000 and financial responsibility for the hacking damage.

Judge Corley and EA didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.