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Submission: The story behind a successful 100BIl SCAM

June 12, 2015

Disclaimer: The following piece was submitted by Kurisa Ongrard. All statements made reflect his opinion and do not reflect EN24’s

EVE Online is a special game, one that revolves around intrigue and backroom deals just as much as actual gameplay.  Many players began the game after reading the exciting tales of The Guiding Hand Social Club, stories about massive internal corp heists, and recounts of former friends turning on each other.  This story is yet another along this vein that will hopefully be yet another allure to prospective players; it revolves around an Orca pilot boosting his fellow miners in need, an incursion fleet FC for a major incursion running group, and an avid fan of 90’s rap music, one Elias Saraki, was everything to everyone.  There are many people in EVE however who do great things such as Elias, what’s special about him?  The difference is that Elias had a combined 113 Billion ISK across all of his accounts and characters and by nature of not knowing his own wealth was just begging to have it all taken from him.

Our group, Space Neocons, was approached by a client one fine day from the incursion running community.  This individual, motives known only to him, had a particular grudge against Elias.  Normally, takedown requests such as this are against small time targets, it becomes very easy to take everything the target has and leave them with nothing – This time around however Space Neocons would find its biggest challenge yet in Elias with the sheer volume of assets and cash that needed to be dealt with.

The strategy getting to Elias was one of my most devious yet.  Normally it’s sufficient to contact the mark in a non-affiliated way, no special prerequisites needed.  In this case though, the plan would be to commit another minor intrigue event to get at the target.  Kurisa Ongrard, the character I used to initiate the sequence of events in this story, is an alt of my other fairly well known character amongst certain circles.  Kurisa would be pitched as an interested party looking for an established high sec corporation in need of a PVE director.  While monitoring recruitment chat I noticed Albazaxt advertising a corporation, Yellow Duck Consortium; he was looking for members and had a ore buyback program in place.  Liking the name, I opened a chat with him; with the intent of gaining director roles immediately I set out to disparage what he had accomplished already and offer my own alternative

EVE system > Channel MOTD” Super Secret spy stuff, so dont ask shhhhh !!!Osmon II – Moon 1 – Sisters of EVE Burau
Kurisa Ongrard > o/
Albazaxt > hiKurisa Ongrard > I saw ya”ll were recruiting for mining
Kurisa Ongrard > Is that the case?
Albazaxt > yes
Kurisa Ongrard > Cool – what sort of incentives do you have, do you have ore buyback
Albazaxt > i buy jita buy price minus 10 %
Kurisa Ongrard > that seems a little inefficient
Kurisa Ongrard > Jita sell minus 10 sounds more reasonable
Kurisa Ongrard > too be honest
Albazaxt > well we sell mining bagre and other stuud we build to corp member to jita buy price to
Albazaxt > barge*
Kurisa Ongrard > I’ve been interested iin trying my hand at running a program like an ore buyback
Kurisa Ongrard > Ive been playing and mining for a while now
Kurisa Ongrard > And the management side of things interests me

Albazaxt was happy with my proposal and gave me director rights immediately along with some starting cash of 100m to build my programs.  Upon joining the corporation I took the unallocated shares, ensuring I could eliminate the CEO whenever I wanted.  Over the next few days I would spend time recruiting to the corporation, feigning interest in bettering the corporation.  Albazaxt gave me another 100m thanks to the great job recruiting I had done.  With approximately 15-20 members, I felt Yellow Ducks was sufficiently large enough to pass as an active corporation that was actively growing, perfect for convincing a future target that he could get in on the ground level of a growing enterprise.  It was now time to complete phase 1 of the plan and start the main phase; Using my majority shares in the corporation I initiated a CEO vote and displaced Albazaxt, making myself CEO in his stead.  With CEO obtained, I now turned my sites on Elias and getting him recruited.

Elias was flying an Orca when I located and convo’d him:

Kurisa Ongrard > hey there
Elias Saraki > o/
Kurisa Ongrard > I was recently hired as the mining director for my corporation, Yellow Duck Consortium
Kurisa Ongrard > I’m making a huge recruitment push, wanted to see if you would be interested in joining
Kurisa Ongrard > We’re launching an excellent ore buyback program, and we pay orca pilots hourly for giving boots to mining ops
Elias Saraki > Wow. I am in a corp right now but they are not active. it sounds really cool.
Kurisa Ongrard > glad I have your interest
Kurisa Ongrard > Were also part of an active pvp alliance, so we have a clear goal to mine and produce to help out that section
Kurisa Ongrard > Basically, were very active
Elias Saraki > where are you guys based
Kurisa Ongrard > Aydoteaux
Kurisa Ongrard > 3j from here
Elias Saraki > cool. So I wouldn’t have to move then?
Kurisa Ongrard > nope, we can bring the ops to you, its not far

Elias didn’t take much convincing at all to join the corp.  Being dissatisfied with his current employer, and after hearing that the corp would pay him for sitting around in his orca, Elias was excited at the prospect of the new corporation.  A little more discussion and Elias dropped a bomb shell.

Elias Saraki > cool. I do have 2 carrier pilts and would like to someday get back into pvp
Elias Saraki > pilots*Kurisa Ongrard > awesome, im sure the alliance would love to have them
Elias Saraki > I’m gonna put in my application as soon as I dock up
Kurisa Ongrard > alright, awesome
Kurisa Ongrard > will you be applying the carriers as well?
Elias Saraki > this is one of my carrier pilots. the other is Kahn. do you do API checks?
Kurisa Ongrard > of course
Kurisa Ongrard > All 3 pilots please

Elias had 2 carrier pilots that he wanted to add to the corporation roster as well.  As a standard security practice, Full API’s were collected on all 3 of Elias’s accounts.  Loading up the API’s into jEveAssets, I was shocked to see just how much this individual was worth.

52 Billion ISK liquid, 61 Billion in Assets, a grand total of 133 Billion ISK.  While exciting, further review of the API’s disheartened me after seeing that while he could fly carriers, Elias didn’t actually own any capital ships.  Fortunately, Elias could detect the disappointment in my chat and offered to purchase a capital.

[ 2015.04.18 23:13:07 ] Elias Saraki > just the pilots for now. Had a Chimera but I sold it due to lack of use
[ 2015.04.18 23:13:19 ] Elias Saraki > I would be willing to buy one if needed though

None the less, I shared what I had found with my fellow Neocons TheInternet TweepsOnline TheInternet and Gerry Rin, both seasoned veterans at corp infiltration, scamming, and all sorts of other fun EVE meta activities.   We hatched a plan at that moment to one up Elias’s offer; we would sell him a super carrier.  This would obviously be a tough sell, a random dude who will soon be your CEO asks you to buy a super out of the blue after receiving an API is certainly going to ring a few alarms…

Kurisa Ongrard > Would you be willing to step up to a super carrier?
Elias Saraki > sure. the only reason i stopped training was because i never thought i would use one
Kurisa Ongrard > you would have time to train it, it takes time to build anyways
Elias Saraki > to be honest, I’m not even training Kahn for anything in particular and Elias is just training manufacturing so its no big deal to switch

Approximately 50 seconds later Elias agreed to the proposal, he was ready for the big time.  I continued my discussion with Elias.  I of course have known a guy who built supers for years now, and he would surely give the two of us a nice deal if I asked.  To make the whole thing seem more legitimate, I pretended the super builder (an alt of TheInternet TweepsOnline TheInternet) was offline at that very moment, and that I would send a message to initiate contact.

Kurisa Ongrard >Please dont contact him before I give you a go ahead
Kurisa Ongrard > Supercap providers are obviously very ishy about talking with random dudes they dont know
Kurisa Ongrard > He’s not online at the moment, but will you be on for a while today?
Elias Saraki > ok no worries.
Elias Saraki > was actually gonna be getting off soon. got a concert to go to, but I’ll be back later
Kurisa Ongrard > What timezone are you?
Elias Saraki > USTZ

Elias now starts to hand over some API keys

Elias Saraki > Its called Crush Groove. Its a bunch of oldschool rap artists
Kurisa Ongrard > oh, like 90’s rap? how old school?
Elias Saraki > The wife really wants to go. I’d rather stay home but to keep the peace you gotta sacrifice

Elias had a concert to attend to regardless, and so the plan was set that I would initiate contact with the super builder and when he was available Elias and I would hop onto Teamspeak to discuss the terms of the sale.

One day later everything was lined up correctly and Elias and I were prepared to go discuss the sale with the super capital builder.  It’s most unfortunate that we didn’t have the foresight to record the ensuing conversation; all I can do is describing the conversation as best I can.  The conversation started with Tweeps, Elias, myself, and another friend of mine, Gerry Rin acting as “security officer”, making idle chit chat about sports, the weather, and other socially acceptable topics to discuss with strangers.  This carried on for approximately 30 minutes before we all decided it was time to get on with business.

As I was good friends with the builder, and because we were buying two supers at one time, the price for Elias’ new Wyvern was determined to be 29 Billion ISK.  This would come fully fit with all the blingy mods that one would expect.  Preparing ourselves for a hard sell, having to show the Wyvern fit and justify the high cost of the modules, and other such expectations, we were pleasantly surprised when Elias essentially said “OK” with essentially no questions asked whatsoever.  In fact, I was so concerned that Elias wasn’t asking questions, thinking he was figuring out the scam, I started asking questions myself in his place.  Three or four questions later we figured out that no, Elias really was just this stupid, and so we proceeded to ask him for his payment.  Broadcasting to everyone in the channel that I had sent my 29 Billion ISK, we were all joyous when Elias chimed in “Alright, I sent the ISK”, thus marking a milestone for all 3 of us in our merry band, a first supercarrier sale.

daghha

With the deal done, the super builder sent out payment receipts, informing us it would require one month to build the ships.  Based on the ease of acquiring 29 billion ISK in only 24 hours, Tweeps, Gerry, and I all knew we had a very special mark on our hands.  Over the next 3 weeks we would continue to build up our corporation with many more members. Taking a shotgun approach, we recruited whoever we could get our hands on in order to inflate the corporations member count and give the appearance of being an active corporation, the thing Elias was looking for that he would leave his previous corp.  The entire time Elias was growing more and more excited, eve-mailing Kurisa for advice on flying the super and indicating how he was really looking forward to the day he received his ship.  Also during this time, Elias decided to purchase a super character pilot to hold his super when he wasn’t using it for 18 Billion ISK.

hdaha

One week after purchasing the pilot, and with one week to go before delivery of the super capitals, bad news was delivered to Kurisa and Elias’ inboxes.

Unbeknownst to Elias, Kurisa (Ryan, because all EVE businessmen like to get to know their clients on a first name basis, of course) has made a deal with George the super builder to bundle a 3rd super onto the corporations super capital order in exchange for opportunity to put down a small deposit and owe the rest of the balance later.  Now that the ISK was due, Kurisa didn’t have the remaining 20 billion ISK owed, and so the two super capitals already paid for were at risk of not being delivered to the insufficient paid balance of the 3rd.

As Kurisa was sure to emphasize to Elias (Bryan), this was a huge problem – A deal was in the works to get Yellow Ducks admitted into a major sov nullsec alliance, and it was promised that YDC would have a capital fleet to show for their admission.  If the additional 20 billion couldn’t be raised, the supers that 58 billion had already gone towards would be lost forever in addition to the grand plans for the corporation being thrashed, as it was explained.   An emergency teamspeak conversation was initiated shortly thereafter; Kurisa laid out her heart about how she was only acting in the best interest of the corporation and how dreadfully, terribly sorry she was for being so irresponsible.  All she could do was continue to plead and beg Elias to help fix the situation by loaning her 20 billion ISK.  During this conversation, George the super builder also placed tons of verbal pressure on Elias.  After shooting down multiple attempts by Elias to negotiate the release of the two already paid for supers, he relented and sent 20 billion ISK to George’s wallet.


With the crisis averted, Elias asked for a private conversation with Kurisa to discuss what had just transpired.  During this conversation, Elias spoke his mind about how he felt that because of his selfless contributions to the corporation he should be granted directorship and an active part in steering the corporation towards its bright future.  Kurisa was all too happy to oblige his request and sent a mail out to the directorship of Yellow Ducks (Tweeps and Gerry) calling for a meeting the next day to discuss granting directorship to Elias.

Unfortunately, with Elias holding no bargaining chips over their heads, the other two directors weren’t initially onboard with the idea of promoting Elias.  Elias was left with his advocate Kurisa, as well as his own devices, arguing how much of a team player he was and how much of an asset he could be as a director.  One thing he said in particular caught the director’s attention “I’m willing to help in any way I can”.  This statement moved the directors, and they suddenly opened up a bit more to the idea.  Discussions were had about what it meant to be a director, about the significant amount of ISK the current directorship had already poured into the corporation and its 0.0 ambitions.  It was made clear that if we were made a director, Elias would be expected to put in his fair share towards funding and otherwise supporting the corporation.  Moving to null sec is an expensive ordeal, and the move was just a few days away.  With assurances that he would help, Elias was told he would be made a director immediately after the corp had situated in its new home.

With promotion complete, it was time to immediately move onto corp business.  Elias was brought into the knowledge of how the corp had prepared for the nullsec move by preparing a shopping list (link) of items needed for the fledgling corporation of 80 members, the vast majority less than 2 weeks old.

The shopping list totaled just over 160 Billion ISK.  With 4 directors, the split came out to 40 billion per director.  Reviewing the list for approximately 5 minutes, Elias could see that the corporation was serious about its intentions and gladly contributed his share of the total.

Another day passed, and wouldn’t you know it, the corporation had made a series of very serious oversights, the corporation actually needed an additional 30 billion ISK worth of stuff before it could successfully make the move to nullsec!  Tweeps, Gerry, and Kurisa were all completely broke at this point. The remaining needed balance, along with the fate of the Yellow Duck’s future, lay in the hands of Elias stepping up to the plate at this extraordinary hour.  While some minor protest was had, Elias made the commitment, selling many of his assets and loyalty points urgently over the next 24 hours in order to meet the hard deadline given for when the supplies had to be purchased.

With the supplies purchased, Yellow Duck Consortium was now on the path to glory.  A deal had been made to join the Stella Nova alliance, a home system had been selected, and all that was left to do now was wait for the supers to be delivered in order to begin the move.

dhasdhad

A problem came up though, unfortunately.  This time it was George to blame for a delay in the release of the super capitals.  The upcoming switch to Fozzie Sov meant that the location the 3 supers were being built at was no longer secure, and George could spare not a moment after they finished building to move them somewhere safer.

Elias was not happy at all.  Logging onto teamspeak, Elias began voicing his displeasure with the situation to Tweeps, Gerry, and myself.  This recording was captured and is amusing to listen to, it can be found here:

During this time, I tried to stay positive with Elias, reassuring him that we can make the 9b ISK and get our supers after all, that I knew the builder, and that it would all be OK in the end.  Unfortunately Elias had more or less reached the end of the line in terms of contributing to the well being of the corporation and its fledgling super capital fleet.

With the scam all but over, Tweeps and Gerry did get one last opportunity to discuss with Elias about his feelings.  One morning over the weekend it was found that Elias had revoked his API keys and so the duo asked him about this, the conversation is recorded here:

In the end, we were more or less denied a standard “reveal” opportunity; Elias quietly removed himself from the corporation and broke contact after finally catching on to what had happened. Elias was a ‘long’ term 30ish day con but from it supercapitals, directorship, and of course jump bridges were all sold, because who doesn’t need a jump bridge or two?  Once results were delivered the client was of course thrilled with our success and completed his healthy service fee.  This represents the largest scam operation to date of anyone for Space Neocons, and it was a load of fun.  Hope you enjoyed the story!

 

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