News and Press Releases

Pittsburgh Man Admits Trafficking Passwords and Damaging a Computer

April 29, 2013

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Pittsburgh pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of recklessly damaging a computer and password trafficking, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Matthew James West, 21, pleaded guilty to two counts of the five-count superseding indictment before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on or about Nov. 28, 2011, in the Western District of Pennsylvania, the defendant knowingly caused the transmission of a program, information, code, and command, and as a result of such conduct, recklessly caused damage without authorization to a protected computer.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for Sept. 2, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of two years in prison, a fine of $200,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued West on bond.

Assistant United States Attorney James T. Kitchen is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Matthew West.

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