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Tuesday, April 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

‘Magic’ Players Accused of Gaming the System

SEATTLE (CN) - An Alabama couple and two friends reported to have participated in more than 750 bogus Magic: The Gathering tournaments and used fake names and addresses to amass special "rewards cards" that they sold on eBay, the maker of the role-playing game claims in Federal Court.

Wizards of the Coast, a worldwide leader in role-playing games, claims that Jonathan and Jennifer Clifton, along with friends Jason Bailey and Adam Schlagether, fabricated hundreds of people, places and events in order to obtain exclusive Magic rewards cards, which the group then sold on eBay.

"Their actions have undermined the integrity and brand proposition of the Magic trading card game and its tournament system," the lawsuit states.

Jonathan Clifton allegedly sold several Magic rewards cards on eBay to Wizards' employees for $3 to $10 each. He was suspended from organizing or playing in Magic tournaments for five years, the lawsuit states.

A subsequent internal investigation revealed 238 unique names living at 27 different addresses in a 15-mile radius in Alabama, according to the complaint.

Wizards says 212 of these names received rewards cards at 12 of the addresses. The Cliftons allegedly used the name of Jennifer's 10-year-old son to receive Magic player rewards.

Wizards says the venues listed as having hosted the tournaments "either did not exist or were not involved in the hobby gaming industry nor had any knowledge of Magic."

Wizards wants the court to ban the defendants from using its products. It also demands more than $75,000 in damages for fraud, conversion and unjust enrichment.

Gwendolyn Payton of Lane Powell is representing the Magic producer.

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