News and Press Releases

Port St. Lucie Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Computer Hacking

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2012

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael B. Steinbach, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced that defendant Skylar Ian Feurstein, 20, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, pled guilty today to charges of attempting to access a protected computer in interstate and foreign commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2) and (b).

Sentencing has been scheduled for December 17, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez. At sentencing, Feurstein faces a possible maximum statutory sentence of one year in prison.

According to the allegations in the original indictment, a superseding information, and statements made in court, in October 2010, Feurstein began communicating online with a young woman living in London, England. The two communicated by email, social networking sites, and webcam. By the end of 2011, the woman tried to end the communication. Feurstein, however, continued to email her and threatened to harm her and her family.

In January 2012, the victim contacted the Metropolitan Police in London to complain of the defendant’s continued threats to her, her family, and her coworkers. British authorities asked the FBI for assistance in Florida. In February, 2012, FBI special agents visited the defendant at his home in Port St. Lucie, and advised him to stop. He did not, and the victim continued to receive email threats into March 2012. Some of the emails contained death threats with subject titles such as “I will kill you” or “I will kill you and your family.” During the course of his conduct, defendant attempted electronically to access the victim’s email accounts on both the computer servers of her internet service provider, located in California, and on her personal computer, located in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore Cooperstein.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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