Only in an MMO is a gigantic financial crime a) subject to absolutely no punishment and b) a sign of the community's health because hey, it's all role-playing, right?
Once again, we're looking at EVE Online. An intergalactic space Ponzi scheme fleeced investors of 1 trillion spacebuxx or whatever that currency is called, which the perps can put toward a lifetime supply of game time and still have a bunch left over for all the other shit they want to buy in-world.
It was a plain-and-simple Ponzi scheme. About 8000 players invested their ISK in something called Phaser, which promised returns of 5 per cent per week. Some were wary of the claim but, you know, cognitive dissonance and all that. Well, the scam managers pulled the plug with this douched-up nastygram (and that image above):
After a stunning period of eight months, we decided it's enough. No more new accounts. No more mails. No more payout days. No more ISK. Most likely, this will cause a lot of questions. The most important question will be answered right here, right now. The ISK is gone; you will not see it ever again.
You've invested it, got a chance on some profit, but it turned out to be not the best choice you've ever made. That's how investing works. At least, that's how it went for the most of you.
Massively reports that the scheme did pay out 345.18 billion ISK, and wary investors withdrew 452.72 billion, but that still left over about 1.034 trillion ISK. Given that EVE's in-world currency has a real world value, this ripoff netted scammers "Eddie Lampert" and "Mordor Exuel" the equivalent of $US51,677.50. It's enough to buy 2,953 30-day subscriptions or, basically, 160 years of gametime for both.
The fund's website has a full accounting of the eight month scam. They'll face no official moderation, just in-game consequences should any of their fleeced investors have the scratch to come after them. See, this is how much fun/more awesome America would be if the Libertarians actually ran things, and so we should root for that and for Ron Paul to win the Republican presidential nomination, the end.