Australian court awaits PayPal to release funds of alleged GTA V software cheat

The man accused of making cheat software for Grand Theft Auto V claims a 'confidential' document that he is yet to view is required to properly prepare for his defence.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

The Australian Federal Court on Thursday heard the man accused of making cheat software for Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V), Christopher Anderson, claim that he cannot file his defence for proceedings as he is yet to view a "confidential" document and does not have access to funds.

Appearing via phone and representing himself, Anderson said filing an immediate defence following the legal proceedings by Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive would be "tricky".

"That is going to be a very tricky element ... a lot of legal argument or cost," he said, laughing.

Justice Nicholas, who has viewed the document in question, said that Anderson's inability to access it shouldn't cause any difficulty in producing a defence.

"You are well advanced in preparing your defence ... I expect to see that defence filed before the 1st of February," said Nicholas J.

Nicholas J showed disinterest in prolonging the filing of the defence any longer, as a number of extensions have already been given to the defendant.

Despite his initial claims, Anderson agreed to produce his defence by February 1, 2019, taking Nicholas J's view that he could produce it without sighting the document.

Anderson also took the opportunity to highlight other factors that have prevented him from filing his defence, including not having access to "other documents" until a few days ago, as well as the freezing of his funds by PayPal which occurred following a September court order [PDF]

"Due to things that have occurred when the applicant went to PayPal to advise them of the Mareva injunction, PayPal decided to suspend my funds for 180 days ... I can't reclaim any funds until mid-March," Anderson said.

Counsel for Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive said it has been corresponding with PayPal regarding the funds Anderson has stored within its platform.

"It is between him and PayPal and they do not appear to be the easiest depositors to have one's money," counsel said.

"They have their own terms and conditions, and they do their own thing."

The court in October also ordered for the two homes -- Unit 8, 24 Parnell Street and 34 Oswald Street, both in Elsternwick, Victoria -- occupied by Christopher Anderson, Cyrus Lesser, "sfinktah", Koroush Anderson, and Koroush Jeddian, which it noted may be one person, to be searched.

The court documents [PDF] from September detailing the search also allowed a trio of vehicles with Victorian number plates to be searched.

According to the court documents, the items being searched included computer disks, drives, or memory; electronic information storage devices or systems; and all things evidencing, and referring to, the development, distribution, offering for sale, and sale of software titled "Infamous" or software intended for use with GTA V.

Those searching the property included "independent computer experts", who were allowed to copy, photograph, film, sample, test, and record the above.

On October 22, the court then authorised [PDF] that 33,230 GB enclosed in various external hard disks, mechanical hard disk drives, and SSD hard disk drives be released back into Anderson's custody.

Despite Anderson residing in Victoria, proceedings are being held in New South Wales. Nicholas J on Thursday said he doesn't want to handle issues via telephone and noted that Anderson's geographical location might prove to be an issue as the case continues.

"We were talking about a person that was existing in the 'ether' ... [there was] some suspicion he was initially in NSW," counsel explained.


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