A former librarian blew $89,000 of public money on a mobile game

Key Points
  • Former librarian Adam Winger was found guilty of spending about $89,000 in public money on a mobile app called "Game of War."
  • Winger will serve 30 days in jail, do 100 hours of community service and pay $78,000 in restitution.
  • Mobile game spending in the first of 2018 grew 19.1 percent to about $26.6 billion worldwide, according to market intelligence company Sensor Tower.
A photo illustration of the mobile game, "Game of War."
Carlos Osorio | Toronto Star | Getty Images

A former librarian in Utah will serve 30 days in jail after he was found guilty of spending around $89,000 in public money on a mobile app called "Game of War," a local news outlet The Herald Journal reported.

Adam Winger was a director at the North Logan City Library for about three years before he was placed on administrative leave last summer, which quickly followed with his resignation three months later.

Winger pleaded guilty to theft and forgery charges in June, according to the Herald Journal. He agreed to pay $78,000 in restitution in advance as part of his negotiated plea settlement, which likely helped him avoid prison, the newspaper added. He was also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service and will be barred from having any fiduciary responsibilities in the future.

"Game of War" is a free-to-play mobile role playing video game where players farm for resources, create buildings and fight each other. Certain tasks take time to be completed but those could be expedited by making a payment inside the game. The app is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and the Amazon Marketplace.

Winger apparently used city credit cards to purchase gift cards from Amazon, iTunes and Google Play. Those were then used to buy Amazon Coins, the Herald Journal said. Amazon Coins are a form of virtual currency that can be used to buy apps from Amazon and make in-app purchases, including in "Game of War."

As video game companies build more sophisticated mobile games, players are reportedly spending more money on them through in-app purchases.

A study from market intelligence company Sensor Tower said spending in mobile games grew 19.1 percent in the first half of this year to an estimated $26.6 billion worldwide on the App Store and Google Play. That represented around 78 percent of the total amount spent on apps across both stores.

Read the full story from The Herald Journal here.