UPDATE: Allegations have surfaced against IWISK in regards to a group of rogue bankers using the site to pilfer large sums of ISK. The initial blog post and resulting Reddit thread are a goldmine of operational insight and controversy for the gambling service.
A recent revelation on Reddit discloses yet another potential scandal for EVE Online’s most popular gambling site, I Want ISK. The site is no stranger to controversy, although it usually focuses on the illicit RMT trade. This newest leak details an alleged scheme involving two players, one of which was at one point an IWISK banker. DustinHF and Paul Woods, both former members of SMA [SpaceMonkey’s Alliance] corp [NOOBZ].
The two players were caught in the process of allegedly stealing ISK and assets from SMA. The sum stolen is estimated at 250 Billion ISK. This plan had apparently been discovered in the midst of being executed and saw both individuals kicked from the corporation within SMA. The controversy kicked into high gear when the two fugitives attempted to move the stolen assets out of NullSec space and were scammed by members still within SMA for a significant sum of ISK in assets. The secondary scam amounted to roughly Ninety Billion ISK on the low end.
This scam came to the attention of the owner of I Want ISK–assuming the player in the chat logs and the proprietor of the gambling site are one in the same–apparently, at least of the two former SMA members is a personal friend and convinced IWISK to come to their defense. The irate response from I Want ISK comes off a bit incoherently, but amounts to threats to hire mercenary groups to attack SMA fleets and assets. However, the effectiveness of such tactics has been called into question by SMA leadership and passive observers. Although if the 300 Billion ISK per day revenue by IWISK claim is to be believed, it’s conceivable that one could higher Pandemic Legion or other elite mercenary groups for an extended period. But lets be honest, only a truly suicidal group would fight the Imperium just on the promise of ISK for a long period of time. Former head of Pandemic Legion’s intelligence network and current SNIGG CEO Grath Telkin, has repeatedly said how hard it is to fight the full force of the Imperium; referring to fighting the Imperium Super Capital fleets in Deklein as “Imperium on hard mode”. So it’s not likely that many groups would commit to a long-term campaign in SMA’s home in Fade, given that it’s within reasonable range of several Imperium staging systems in both Deklein and Cloud Ring.
It’s hard to justify I Want ISK’s reaction to this issue. The personal investment in what is essentially a corporation issue is suspect at best. And the reaction of threatening attacks against the party who took an effectively neutral stance on the scamming of a handful of alleged corp thieves seems over-the-top. No sane corporation or alliance would care about members who have been kicked for theft. The subsequent expectation of IWISK for SMA to be responsible is misplaced to say the least. The indication I get is that IWISK is attempting to use threats in order to protect a personal friend, regardless of whether they stole or not. This seems a bit out of place considering IWISK’s argumentation that appears to deny any wrongdoing on the part of the bankers, if the claims by IWISK about API analysis are to be believed.
It remains to be seen how this issue will play out.
A recent interview with EX Winet, member of SMA leadership–who was the target of the threats in the above chat log–has shed some light on more details regarding this issue. Most notably, it appears some SMA members who use the gambling site have had their accounts banned. It’s an entertaining read overall, and highlights a somewhat disturbing trend of personal bias among the IWISK owner and his bankers. Although it’s not the first time personal bias has led to drama in EVE, so it’s not too shocking. I must say that the idea of using an alt alliance to milk ISK to fill SMA coffers is a spectacular idea, and so very EVE.
Winet has come out publicly and disclosed a long running scam that saw hundreds of Billions of ISK stolen from IWISK over the course of the last couple months. The veracity of this claim rests on the recent downtime IWISK suffered in the last forty-eight hours, with a notice on the site detailing a rogue server admin having to be dealt with. As it stands, there has been no public acknowledgment on behalf of Eep.
EX Winet has stated the following in a Reddit thread on this issue:
Its important to note that this entire thing was planned from the minute that I Want Isk the character threatened the alliance. Its why the logs have taken so long to apear. We syphoned a truck load of isk and didnt want to be given away prior to getting caught. When they finally caught us we decided on the press release.