Nearly $10K allegedly stolen, spent on Facebook game

LYNNWOOD — An Arlington woman is being accused of stealing real money to improve the fake homestead she was building on the online game FrontierVille featured on Facebook.

Prosecutors allege that Rebecca Lynn Riley Terry used her employer’s credit card to make nearly $10,000 in charges on Facebook. The defendant, 47, was charged Monday with first-degree theft, a felony. She is scheduled to be in court next month to answer to the charge.

The woman worked at a Lynnwood insurance company and was authorized to use the corporate American Express account for business, Lynnwood police detective Scott Dilworth wrote in court papers. The company discovered that between June 2011 and September 2011 there were $9,949.20 in unauthorized charges to Facebook.

The woman allegedly told detectives that she’d used the credit card without permission. She said that a lot of the transactions were for FrontierVille, according to court papers.

The online game, played by millions during the height of its popularity, gives people a chance to play at being virtual pioneers. They create cyber homesteads, complete with crops and livestock. Participants work at earning coins and horseshoes — currency in the game — to purchase items for their homesteads.

Players also can use real money to rack up more coins and horseshoes, giving them even more frills for their pioneer family and homestead.

Prosecutors allege that the defendant used her employer’s credit card for the online game as well as other applications on Facebook. She also is accused of charging nearly $1,000 in gas the to business account, court papers said.

Lynnwood police arrested the woman in October. She was released the same day. She had paid back about $800 prior to her arrest.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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