The two men that got rich exploiting a bug in Las Vegas video poker machines won’t be facing hacking charges after all. This week, the US Attorney’s Office was granted a motion to dismiss charges under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the controversial 1986 law that criminalizes the unauthorized access of "protected computers." The pair won’t be getting off scot-free, though — there’s still another charge wire fraud charge scheduled to go to trial on August 20th.
Speaking to Wired, the lawyer of defendant John Kane said, "the case should never have been filed under the CFAA. It should have been just a straight wire fraud case. And I’m not sure it’s even a wire fraud." After discovering the bug, defendant John Kane allegedly called his friend Andre Nestor and told him to head to Las Vegas and help with the operation.
As Wired previously reported, the software bug that allowed the two men to make nearly half a million dollars did so by letting them increase their bets on hands they’d already won by pumping extra money into the machine at the right time. Whether or not the organized effort to exploit that bug amounts to a wire fraud conspiracy should be settled later this year.