Online Crime
Symbolic feature with topic online crime, data theft and piracy and hacker, here the silhouette of a person with a laptop in his hands, on Augut 20, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.  Thomas Trutschel—Photothek via Getty Images

A Guy Stole $2 Million and Spent a Third of It on Tips

May 30, 2017

A man in China convicted for scamming millions of dollars from video websites blew nearly a third of what he stole on tipping the hostesses of live-streaming web sites, Chinese media reports.

The 21-year-old online software vendor, identified only by his last name Hu, pleaded guilty to theft charges and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, reports the South China Morning Post.

He took a total of $1.9 million in fraudulent refunds between November 2015 and April 2016 from video service platform Youku Tudou, China's YouTube clone, reportedly by exploiting a bug in its payment system.

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He was only left with about $437,000 of what he stole, the Post reports — having lavished over $583,000 on live-streaming sites, where he tipped female program hosts generously.

The rest went into paying down his father's debts and personal "entertainment," according to the report.

"Although I'm sorry to Youku, I don't regret having done this," he told the court, according to Chinese news site The Paper. "I've learned a lot, which I feel is worthwhile. I now also look at society differently."

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