At Imperium News, we dig deep into stories every day. Sometimes we strike on something truly serious, and staff from our various departments work together to help get to the bottom of a story. This has produced hard-hitting pieces like the Olivia expose or the IWI/Casino articles. They are not always popular, but they are important.
The following article, made for INN by outsiders, depicts a troubling situation. The author infiltrated a corporation that was abusive to new players and depicts what happened next. In the investigative traditions of INN, here is, in his own words, Scooter McCabe – The famed scammer using his deceptive powers for good.
How The Intended Corp Theft And Infiltration Of A Null Sec Corp Turned Into A Humanitarian Mission.
Scottmw15 abused new players by directly targeting players that were 1 to 15 days old, luring them to come to his corporations so they could rat to pay for his PLEX. He told them they had to click on websites that had nothing to do with EVE but generated him money, to stay in. He told them visit a real estate classified site and a dating website. Scottmw15 will widely be referred to as Scott in the article. Fuck Scott. <3
Looking back I should have seen the cliché coming. A Simple mission that barely registers on the difficulty scale turns into a moving and complex operation to liberate the abused. The irony of course is that the good guys in this would be myself, a known scammer, and a coalition built up of people normally hostile to each other. Knowing all this now, I can say confidently that once you think you have seen and done it all in this game, there is always another curve that can be thrown at you by CCP’s never-ending virtual sandbox.
From The Desk Of The Mittani And Grath Telkin
A fun fact about EVE: we may give each other absolute hell in game, but time and again I have seen friendships in real life trump in game differences. In this case, a mutual friendship in EVE player and streamer Chocolate Rahne. She is heavily involved in EVE and is as friendly a person you can find in or outside of the game. I have had the pleasure of being fellow talking head with her on the Open Comms Show, and I consider her a friend.
Enter long-time EVE player and up-and-coming slaver Scottmw15, who has several alts – these will be listed so everyone is aware of this pig – and deems it appropriate to spam recruit in Chocolate Rahne’s stream and the Newbie Help Channel. She had asked him to stop. In return, he called her a bitch among other pleasantries. Something that unheard of has a habit of filtering its way through EVE, and so it came to the attention of the Imperium and Pandemic Legion. While currently hostile to each other, the smoky backrooms of EVE permit the occasional agreement among warring heads of state.
Declaring war on a corp would be a waste of time. They would simply pull up stakes and flee, maybe even bask in the attention. No, something uniquely painful and all-consuming was required. I was called into service.
It was a combination of low effort and watching Ocean’s Thirteen, but since The Mittani let Scott know I was coming to wreck him, negating the element of surprise, I would offer Scott a “Billy Martin.” Now for those of you unfamiliar with Billy Martin or Ocean’s Thirteen, Billy Martin was a baseball player fired and rehired by infamous New York Yankees owner George Steinbrener. This is unique because Steinbrener never rehired people, second chances coming from him just wasn’t a thing that happened. The name has become a term used for a second chance at making things right.
This is not the first time I offered someone a “Billy Martin.” Admittedly I’ve used this term before with players because it has a track record of being ignored, it all but invites them to not take me seriously making their comeuppance that much funnier.
But before doing all that. It was important to stack the deck in my favor. So I inserted an alt into the main corp. I would know everything they knew, possibly gain roles to break them, and at the very least gauge the effectiveness of any overt actions on my part. Only after getting in did I make formal contact with my main. The meeting pretty much went as follows:
Me: Hi, you got this mail from The Mittani that I’m supposed to fuck you up. I’d like to offer you a Billy Martin.
Scott: What’s a Billy Martin?
Me: A chance to make things right.
Scott: LOL, everyone can fuck themselves.
They promptly dropped the conversation and after grabbing some gear and a Tengu I sent them a mail that forever changed EVE for them.
Okay, game on.
Tears Of The Sun
Standing United, the nullsec corp run by Scott, was one of many he owned. It was a sweatshop made of new players who just didn’t know better, and at the time I was unaware the extent of the slavery operation he was running. As I would later learn, there were much darker forces at work, and for Scott, EVE was a simple way to make real money at the expense of the new player base. I probably should have suspected something was up with a non-Russian corp being allowed to crash in Russian-held null, and only barely tolerated by the alliance Everyb0dy Lies.
I announced my presence in local by tackling and shooting a few players before releasing them. Giving them the fright of their life. I went with my favorite theme of Friday The 13th. I linked them a GIF and the theme song to hammer home my point that it was on. From my alt I heard their wannabe Spymaster, all of 15 years old, claim I would use the links to steal IP addresses. Scott and his spymaster decided it was worth petitioning CCP with the theory that if enough petitions hit their desk, CCP would just auto ban me a la World of Warcraft.
To CCP’s credit, they ignored this cheap tactic. To CCP Spartan who was flooded with these mails which they linked his responses in Discord, I am sorry. Also, thanks for doing the right thing.
Afterwards, the Standing United newbies docked up and huddled around the campfire. They had no idea who I was and what I was doing here. Scott told them I was a nobody just trying to pick on a new corp. Then their spymaster came along with his “research” on me. It was like that scene in any Steven Segal movie when they start listing off what a badass he is when the bad guys work up a dossier on him. The only accurate thing he found was a PC Gamer article. Here is some of the utterly insane shit he came up with:
“He runs the largest RMT empire in EVE and CCP is powerless to stop him.”
“He founded his own religion called Dudeism.”
“He has a website dedicated to teaching people how to scam in real life and avoid getting caught.”
“He is linked to illegal arms sales.”
What shocked me was no one called bullshit on any of it. I nearly died from laughter as he got into details about me being some super hacker who could get all information just clicking on my character name or whatever. The rest of the conversation turned grim at the prospect of having me hang out. Some felt I was some how watching them as if I was in the room with them. Others that I was a pompous dickhead for doing this. Scott promised them that if I got killed or they simply moved that I would lose interest or simply not be able to find them.
A few days later they opted to move en-masse. I got greedy and went after a Drake on a station, only to find a carrier waiting to drop on me. Unable to take down a Drake and a Carrier at the same time, my Tengu went down. Scott was crowing with success, promising golden times ahead. But like the song goes, the cat came back the very next day. In a stronger Tengu. The fact I reappeared in a Tengu almost instantly, and found them in what was considered a great hiding spot hit their morale hard. Hard enough that they began to suspect treason from within.
Spies Like Us
Scott’s playbook had run dry after the first few days. Naturally all the problems had to come from the inside. One player was kicked because of his corp history. Then later that night during a ratting fleet someone was accused of being my alt and blown up. All because they were on a killmail involving me and my alt. After a brief celebration that a spy was caught, the mood rapidly switched to that of a funeral. The supposed spy had been on a killmail involving Scooter. However, this person was in MOA, famous for their dislike of Goons, and had been a part of killing my carrier. I was understandably furious and also a little drunk.
Only after everyone seeing the evidence did they apologize. The apology was a backhanded one:
Aidazand: Sorry, but I still don’t trust you. I got my eye on you.
To his credit Aidazand was right the entire time. He never stopped distrusting me but other things drew his attention away.
At this point you might think everyone in that corp was a shoot first, ask questions later kind of asshole. In fact the lion’s share of asshole behavior was Scott. the majority of the corp was made up of decent players who were new to EVE. Flying alongside them I got to know them, and to see how they were being exploited not just for grinding ISK, but to unknowingly be the cogs of a cringe -worthy RMT operation.
Click Or Die
Besides telling his members that the only thing they could do was rat, Scott had another more insidious scheme. Scott had created two websites not related to EVE. One was a classified real estate site, and an even more horrid dating website. Members were told to click on the sites. It was broadcast by Scott on discord with his in game character name which is used to ID you on their discord. Players have to click on them to stay in corp. Scott was going as far to require members to write articles for his site. Even on the announcements Scott specifically said “click on this so I can make money.” These announcements were broadcast often and daily.
Scott said that to stay in you would have to eventually write some opinion articles. For now, only clicking on the links was required.
Sins Of A Solar Slave Driver
Scott’s actions not only violated the EULA, but were horribly toxic to EVE and its longevity. CCP created the Alpha Clone program to bring in new players to EVE, to give them the chance to get into the game and learn it without having to pay for it. Its no secret that EVE has a steep learning curve, and that the road to the top of that curve is paved with frustrated players who quit. The Alpha Clone program is designed so to catch players’ interest enough that they delve further by getting an Omega Clone and paying for the game. Scott was burning out new players and driving them away from the game.
Why would anyone want to continue playing if all they think EVE is a game where you rat to fill up someone else’s wallet in game and click links for a dating website and real-estate classifieds to fill their real-life bank account? With the multiple corporations set up by Scott, he was generating a serious money farm with over one thousand new players. Even his directions to his recruiters were to only go after players 1 to 15 days old. He was going after new players who wouldn’t know any better and would follow orders from someone claiming to have been in Goons, grown up with The Mittani, and a decades old player. In reality he was a pig ready to exploit human beings trying to enjoy a pastime. Consider a scammer like myself, I go after players who have years in the game and should know better. Here is someone taking advantage of brand new players on day one. After all Scott was going into the newbie help channel, just only to help himself.
I had two choices: proceed with my planned operation and burn everything down, or I could do the right thing and rescue new players from a toxic situation.
Nullsec Gets Behind A Humanitarian Operation
There have only been a few times in this game where something has come up that went beyond the scope of what is acceptable. In our big bad sandbox there are limits. During scams I have had times where players revealed criminal information to me, even so far as giving me evidence. I immediately stopped and involved CCP. Here I was in a situation that CCP may or may not be able to act because most of the EULA-breaking things are occurring out of game where “the logs show nothing.” At the same time, even if CCP acts, over a thousand players would be clueless and left without a home. Under such conditions, they would just quit the game.
I decided it was best engineer an in-game solution to protect the innocent involved. Approaching senior leadership in the Imperium, my report caused concern, and through the smoky back rooms of EVE, a humanitarian mission took shape. In-game groups that were hostile to each other also recognized the situation for what it was, and aid came pouring in from the most unexpected corners.
Pandemic Legion lent support in the form of warning corporation members to abandon Scott. Karma Fleet was prepared to take in any and all refugees from Scott’s sweatshop. Mercenary Coalition would support the operation with operatives working alongside Black Hand operatives in an unprecedented move that may never be seen again in EVE. Diplomats from the Imperium were reaching out to the Russians allowing Scott to crash on their couch. Solar Fleet locked out Scott’s corp from using their stations. Everyb0dy Lies, the alliance sheltering Scott, refused to provide combat support as Scott faced a one-man assault. Using my cloaky Tengu, I hunted down Scott, denied him the ability to continue making an income and for anyone that would listen offer them proof of his misdeeds and a safe haven.
In a moment of karmic justice, the straw that broke the camel’s back was a letter from David Cee, part of the alliance ‘Sword Of Damocles.’ Scottmw15 had placed a 100 million ISK bounty for every killmail score against Scooter. He demanded 100 million ISK for all his men, but upon learning what he did, the price was 20 billion. It went to his corp and a revolt occurred. The irony that the it was literally the Sword Of Damocles that fell upon Scott’s head.
In under the span of a week, Scott would suddenly feel the weight of EVE’s player base come crashing down on him as they became aware of what he was doing. It has been stated hundreds of times: we all love playing this game, and at every player event you will see spaceship nerds arm in arm. In a moment that called upon players to be at their best for their fellow players in a moment that transcending in game standings, they answered that call.
Neutralizing Hostile Personnel
However there was still legwork to do. Scott had few players blindly loyal to him. Aidazand, who served as Scott’s second-in-command, was quickly neutralized after his execution of Neerah Otomeya. Scott would not hear that Neerah Otomey was Scooter, and Aidazand’s sound advice fell on deaf ears. He was forced by Scott to apologize to me, and was told I was beyond suspicion. The spymaster was taken down by using his words against him and planting false evidence . Using information learned during voice chat, I could confront people in-game as Scooter with it. All fingers pointed back to the spymaster as only things he could know ended up in the hands of Scooter. His previous blunders in gathering information and wrongly accusing people added to his guilt.
Neutralizing Scott was key. Not because he was some mastermind or great leader, but as the only source of information, specifically misinformation, exposing them to the truth about Scott would be difficult. Taking a page out of North Korea’s playbook, Scott demanded people block Scooter, or at the very least have no contact with him. Listening to Scott and being unable to confront him because it would blow my cover was the most difficult thing I have had to do in EVE. Scott made claims that anyone with access to facts could quickly determine was full of shit, clinically speaking.
Scott was brought down through a combination of factors:
First the presentation of proof of his misdeeds involving Chocolate Rahne versus the narrative he presented multiple times and with great glee to everyone on comms. Scott lacked evidence to the contrary of what he had done, his story changed multiple times, and the access to a temporary stream sealed his fate.
Second was making sure everyone in the room understood this was all about what Scott did, that there was no personal animus towards individual members. They had to know it was nothing personal and that Scott could have settled the whole matter by simply apologizing. No ISK was asked of Scott when I approached him; he had a chance to spare all his people what was to come. It was something I reminded him and his corp of continuously.
The last nail in the coffin was allowing Scott to be Scott. Scott lacks character and the capacity to lead. Getting him into situations that put those shortcomings on display let everyone know the kind of person he was. Chasing him around and forcing him to dock up showed his cowardice. Foiling his traps and taking advantage of his inability to FC showed his incompetence. Allowing him to play detective in trying to find me showed his paranoia. Putting him in a financial bind and making him bark at people to rat showed his greed.
“No Day” Proven By Deed
The day came when Scott’s line members said no more and started to evac from the nullsec corp to highsec. They had quietly moved their assets out, and would wait in hisec for their new home in Karma Fleet. In a final moment of insanity, Scott kicked almost everyone in corp, stranding them in Russian-held nullsec. Neutral and alone, they bravely began to plan an escape but the odds were long as it was 63 jumps to Delve. It was then I flash formed a fleet to go and get them out, assets and all. A fleet called the Goon Berets made a 126-jump round trip to get them all out.
When we got into local we let everyone know what we were there for:
2016.12.07 02:42:59 ] Scooter McCabe > WE ARE THE GOON BERRETS HERE TO LIBERATE THE OPPRESSED. ALL RUSSIANS STAY DOCKED OR YOU WILL DIE! SCOTTMW15 YOU BROUGHT THIS ON YOURSELF. SCOTT STAY DOCKED OR WE WILL BURN YOU ALIVE.WE ARE THE GOON BERRETS, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!
The fun part was that Scottmw15 told all his members that if I was really a mission for The Mittani that I would have had a fleet behind me.
In the days to come there will be more information coming out as investigations continue. As a public service here are all the known listed alts of Scottmw15 so no one else falls into his web of slavery and RMT operations:
scott AK Bacheldor
While you are reading this efforts continue to ensure every player Scott has touched has the chance to escape his sweatshop and be free from the chains of slavery. These corps are:
EVE Online Training Academy.
CCP has been alerted to his scamming new players, his RMT program and his threats to various players. Had it not been for his sheer hubris and ignorance we may never have learned of his misdeeds. All because he couldn’t take a Billy Martin.