North Carolina Man Pleads Guilty to Hacking Conspiracy That Targeted Senior U.S. Government Officials
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Justin G. Liverman, 24, of Morehead City, North Carolina, pleaded guilty today for his role in a harassment scheme that targeted senior U.S. government officials. Liverman’s plea admits guilt to a conspiracy to commit unauthorized computer intrusions, identity theft, and telephone harassment.
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, beginning in November 2015, Liverman conspired to attempt to intimidate and harass U.S. officials and their families by gaining unauthorized access to victims’ online accounts, among other things. For example, Liverman publicly posted online documents and personal information unlawfully obtained from a victim’s personal account; sent threatening text messages to the same victim’s cellphone; and paid an unlawful “phonebombing” service to call the victim repeatedly with a threatening message. In November 2015, the conspiracy used that victim's government credentials to gain unlawful access to a confidential federal law enforcement database, where Liverman obtained information relating to dozens of law enforcement officers and uploaded this information to a public website.
Liverman faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when sentenced on May 12. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Co-defendant Andrew Otto Boggs, also from North Carolina, is expected to enter a plea of guilty for his role in the conspiracy on January 10.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Brian J. Ebert, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maya D. Song and Jay V. Prabhu, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph V. Longobardo. The U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern and Western Districts of North Carolina, and the FBI’s Charlotte Division provided significant assistance with the investigation.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:16-cr-313.