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California man stole from employer, spent $1 million on cell phone game

Posted at 10:19 PM, Dec 10, 2016

A California man who plead guilty to wire fraud and money laundering on Thursday stole nearly $5 million from his employer from 2008 and 2015 — and spent $1 million of that on a cell phone game.

According to tech website Ars Technica, 45-year-old Kevin Lee Co spent $1 million on war strategy game Game Of War.

Co stole $4.8 million over seven years during his job as a controller with heavy equipment company Holt. Because he was in charge of the company’s accounting, Co was able to abuse his company credit card and rack up outlandish charges.

Co bought season tickets to both the San Francisco 49ers and the Sacramento Kings, paid for a country club membership and purchased plastic surgery with the funds he took from Holt. But he saved the big money for gaming.

Game Of War is a free game that encourages players to pay for in-app purchases in order to improve their odds. According to Ars Technica, the average Game Of War player spends $588 a year on the game.

Co spent just a bit more than that. Between the game’s debut in July 2013 and Co’s termination with Holt, he spent $1 million on Game Of War.

Co will be sentenced in March 2017.

Read Co's plea deal in the document viewer below.




Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.