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Game programmer charged in sabotage

Feb. 24, 2011 at 12:52 PM

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A programmer at a Florida arcade-game maker sabotaged the company's games with viruses while starting a rival company to lure away customers, police said.

Marvin Walter Wimberly Jr. of Orlando faces a felony charge of offenses against intellectual property, the Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal reported Wednesday.

Bob's Space Racers, the company behind the classic arcade game Whac-a-Mole, notified police in October 2010 that Wimberly allegedly infected 450 computer modules with viruses, the newspaper reported.

Bob's Chief Financial Officer Mike Lane told police the viral sabotage cost Bob's more than $100,000.

Investigators allege Wimberly began writing viruses into games in August 2008,

Eventually, Bob's discovered Wimberly's "updated" games were doomed to fail after exactly 511 start ups.

The company says it believes Wimberly conceived the virus to ensure "a future need for his services."

Lane told police the programmer also was "establishing a competitive business taking advantage of bad will he created with Bob's newly dissatisfied customers."

Wimberly was arrested Tuesday and released after posting $15,000 bail, the News-Journal reported.

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