Bettysue Higgins, who until her most recent endeavors into the world of crime was employed as an admin assistant at a law firm, pleaded guilty to embezzlement charges after her fraudulent spending on Mafia Wars was found out.
There are many casual games that can be played on websites like Facebook. Some let you build your own farm, some have you maintaining a fish tank. Many of these games are supplied by Zynga, and one of their biggest titles is called Mafia Wars. All of these games follow a pretty similar formula. The company lets you play the game for free, but to have access to many of the better items you have to pay real cash instead of the kind you earn in game. What does one do when the virtual cash flow just isn’t enough? For Bettysue Higgins, the answer was to move to a life of real crime.
Between 2006 and 2010, Higgins wrote out around 220 checks using the forged signature of the firm’s executive director Steven Prince. In the last two years, and these are the ones that ultimately did her in, 78 were “deposited directly to her personal account and paid out the funds to Zynga YoVille and Zynga Mafia Wars, which are social networking games played through Facebook.”
While the majority of the recent checks are put towards these games, they only constitute for about $4,000 of the $166,000 total that Higgins embezzled from the company. As to where the rest of the money went, no one is really sure seeing as how her house is in the middle of foreclosure. A sentencing hearing is set for January 3, 2012, and Higgins remains free on bail.