WASHINGTON, D.C. – Scott Levine, 46, was sentenced today to 96 months in federal prison after being found guilty on Aug. 12, 2005, by a jury in Little Rock, Ark., of 120 counts of unauthorized access of a protected computer, two counts of access device fraud, and one count of obstruction of justice, the Justice Department announced.
The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge William R. Wilson in the Eastern District of Arkansas.
“This sentence reflects the seriousness of these crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins of the Eastern District of Arkansas. “At first blush, downloading computer files in the privacy of your office may not seem so terribly serious. But, if you are stealing propriety information worth tens of millions of dollars from a well-established and reputable company, you can expect to be punished accordingly.”
“Neither the Internet nor cyberspace will ever be a safe haven for individuals who attempt this type of cyber crime. The Secret Service, along with our law enforcement partners, will hunt you down, keystroke by keystroke, until you face a jury of your peers,” said Brian Marr, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock office of the U.S. Secret Service. “The Secret Service’s investigation regarding this type of crime has been and will always be a top priority.”
“The investigation of cyber crime, particularly as it relates to computer intrusion, is one of the FBI’s top priorities,” said William C. Temple, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Working with our counterparts from the U.S. Secret Service, we were able to quickly recover the stolen data and prevent it use in a wide range of fraud schemes. The success of this investigation should send a strong message to those who might consider becoming involved in similar criminal activity.”
Levine, of Boca Raton, Fla., was the controlling owner of Snipermail, Inc., a Florida corporation engaged in the business of distributing advertisements over the Internet to e-mail addresses. While working with others at Snipermail, Inc., he stole more than one billion records containing personal information – including names, physical and e-mail addresses, as well as phone numbers – belonging to Acxiom Corporation clients, from approximately January 2003 through July 2003. Acxiom is a large repository for personal, financial and company data, including customer information for other companies.
Levine used sophisticated decryption software to illegally obtain passwords and exceed his authorized access to Acxiom databases, which contained information belonging to Acxiom’s clients. Former Snipermail employees, who agreed to cooperate with the federal investigation, testified to how Levine and others concealed physical evidence relating to the intrusions and thefts of data.
There is no evidence to date that any of the data stolen by Levine or others associated with this investigation has been used in identity theft or credit card fraud schemes. However, some of the data was resold to a broker for use in an ad campaign.
The criminal investigation was jointly conducted by the FBI and the Secret Service, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys George C. Vena, Todd L. Newton, and Karen L. Coleman from the Eastern District of Arkansas and Trial Attorney Amanda M. Hubbard of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.