News and Press Releases

Columbia Computer Hacking Conviction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2013

Contact Person: Nancy Wicker (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina -----United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated that Max Raymond Dufour, age 21, of Aiken, SC, pled guilty today in federal court in Columbia, SC, to an Information charging Fraud and Related Activity in Connection with Access Devices, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029.  United States District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie accepted the plea and will impose sentence after she has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented at the plea hearing established that from August 2010 through October 2011, Mr. Dufour used computer hacking software to steal website login information.  Mr. Dufour successfully harvested over two hundred usernames and passwords in the scheme and was able to gain access to over fifty email accounts without users’ authorization.  Mr. Dufour then reviewed the accounts for financial and personal data.  Mr. Dufour used the stolen information to make purchases for his own benefit and attempted to sell the information.  Additionally, Mr. Dufour impersonated an individual by hacking into his email account and website and used the hacked accounts to solicit credit cards numbers.  Mr. Dufour’s illegal activity was detected when he attempted to hack into the University of South Carolina website in order to change his semester grades.

Mr. Nettles states the maximum penalty Mr. Dufour can receive is a fine of $250,000.00 and/or imprisonment for 10 years, plus a special assessment of $100.00.

The case was investigated by agents of the Secret Service, and Assistant United States Attorney Jamie Schoen, of the Columbia office, handled the case.

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