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Press Release

Rutland Man Sentenced for Conspiring to Access Protected Computer Network of Medical Treatment Facility

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant’s conduct resulted in electronic medical records system being inaccessible, impairing or potentially impairing medical examinations, diagnoses and treatment and care of patients

BOSTON – A Rutland man was sentenced today in federal court in Worcester to conspiring to access a protected computer of his former employer – a non-profit substance use and mental health treatment provider that operates recovery centers throughout Massachusetts.

Nathan Howe, 42, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Margaret R. Guzman to time served (one day in prison) and three years of supervised released, with the first year to be served in home detention. Howe was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $10,565. The government argued for a sentence of 21 months in prison and restitution in the amount of $136,233. In October 2023, Howe pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to access a protected computer to obtain information and cause damage and one count of intentionally causing damage to a protected computer and impairing medical treatment. 

Howe and co-conspirator Patrick Edmonds-Morin were employed by the non-profit until April 2021 and October 2020, respectively. Between September and December of 2021, Howe conspired with Edmonds-Morin to access records of the non-profit’s employees, listen to and view conversations between the employees, and create and deploy a computer program designed to impede the non-profit’s use of the network. In November 2021, Howe accessed the computer network and transmitted a command that shut down the network for the non-profit’s Westborough campus where individuals were receiving in-patient treatment. By shutting down the network, Howe made the non-profit’s electronic medical records system inaccessible at its sites across Massachusetts, impairing or potentially impairing the medical examination, diagnosis, treatment and care of patients.

Additionally, between July 2018 and November 2020, Howe and Edmonds-Morin conspired to commit wire fraud by obtaining cell phones from a cell phone provider which were intended for the non-profit’s staff and, instead, selling the cell phones to third parties for personal profit, typically in the amounts of hundreds of dollars per phone. 

Edmonds-Morin pleaded guilty in June 2023 and is scheduled to be sentenced May 15, 2024.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan O’Shea of the Worcester Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

Updated April 10, 2024