This Whittier man built a video game currency empire and became a millionaire — then an FBI raid brought it down
By Brian Day
To those who knew him, it was inevitable that Anthony Clark’s computer prowess would one day make him money.
It did. Millions, in the end.
Friends and family of Clark, a 27-year-old former Disneyland cast member from Whittier, knew he had a fascination with figuring out how things worked. It was clear back then that Clark was smart.
A friend, Gabe Garcia, said that while he was playing with Pokemon figures, Clark “was putting motors and propellers in a bottle and trying to make a boat.”
“I could never understand him,” Garcia said.
“Once we had our computer class in middle school, it was game over,” childhood friend Bobby Santoyo said.
In high school, Clark discovered a coding error in a popular video game. He provided the company with the information needed to fix it.
“They immediately contacted him and offered him a job,” Santoyo said.
Years later, Clark told friends and family about a coding project he’d started involving a soccer video game — EA Sports’ FIFA Football — that was turning into a bigger enterprise.
Clark and his three partners — Ricky Miller of Arlington, Texas; Nick Castellucci of New Jersey; and Eaton Zveare of Lancaster, Virginia — created a code to generate FIFA coins, an in-game currency prized by millions of players, then sold the coins online. In fact, he had met the other partners online.
“It really started as a programming challenge,” said Arnold Spencer, an attorney for Clark, of the venture that began sometime in 2013. “They were all shocked at how well the whole thing worked.”
In less than two years, Clark’s startup brought in $16 million.
Profits helped Clark provide for his family. He bought a home in the upscale Friendly Hills neighborhood of Whittier for them all to live in and an SUV for them to drive. He paid for college tuition for […]