Former ECOFLO Employee Pleads Guilty Terminated Employee Unlawfully Accessed E-mail Accounts
Greensboro, NC – A former employee of ECOFLO, INC., a Greensboro-based business that provides industrial and hazardous waste management services, pleaded guilty to three charges in a case involving intercepted corporate emails, announced Anna Mills Wagoner, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina.
TERESA GAMBLE TREADAWAY, age 49, of Mount Pleasant, North Carolina, pleaded guilty on July 8, 2008, in Greensboro to one count of wire fraud, one count of computer fraud, and one count of unlawful access to stored communications for commercial advantage or private commercial gain.
After being fired from her job as a salesperson with ECOFLO in Greensboro in October 2003, Ms. TREADAWAY started monitoring the email activity of her fellow workers and the officers of ECOFLO. She was able to do this by the Internet because she knew that ECOFLO did not require its employees to change their password from the generic password that was assigned when the computer system was installed. She admitted looking at the emails of ECOFLO daily during 2004.
During 2005, the evidence showed she intruded on company emails more than 2,600 times. In the meantime, Ms. TREADAWAY went to work for a competitor of ECOFLO. The Government’s evidence shows that in June 2005, when ECOFLO sent a bid to remove chemical waste from the tanks of a company in Columbia, South Carolina, Ms. TREADAWAY intercepted that bid and downloaded it to her computer the same day. Ms. TREADAWAY’s company was successful in obtaining the contract to clean the tanks, after the competition came down to ECOFLO and Ms. TREADAWAY’s new company.
In essence, Ms. TREADAWAY stole information that she was not entitled to have, for the purpose of defrauding ECOFLO or to the detriment of ECOFLO. When the FBI executed a search warrant on her Mount Pleasant, North Carolina home in May 2006, the ECOFLO bid documents and other evidence of unlawful email intrusion were found on TREADAWAY’s computer.
TREADAWAY is scheduled to be sentenced on November 18, 2008, in Greensboro. She faces up to twenty years imprisonment, not more than three years supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. TREADAWAY may also be ordered by the Court to pay restitution to any victim of the offense.
The investigation of TREADAWAY was conducted by David W. Zimmerman, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Charlotte.
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