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Press Release

Former Bankruptcy Court Employee Pleads Guilty to Damaging a Protected Computer Without Authorization

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of North Carolina

GREENSBORO, NC – Sandra J. Hairston, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina (MDNC), announced today that ROBERT MATTHEW BRITTAIN, of Lexington, pleaded guilty in federal court to one felony count of computer fraud.

According to publicly filed court documents, BRITTAIN was previously employed by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the MDNC as a court management analyst wherein he managed and configured computer products operated by the court’s employees.  BRITTAIN resigned from this position in April 2022 after an internal investigation into his conduct.  Before leaving his position, BRITTAIN allegedly established a VPN connection from his home to the court’s network which, after his termination, he illegally used to access another employee’s passwords and remotely wipe an iPad belonging to the Bankruptcy Court.

BRITTAIN pleaded guilty to a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1030(a)(5)(A), which criminalizes the knowingly transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causing damage without authorization, to a protected computer.  Because the computer at issue was used in the administration of justice, BRITTAIN is subject to heightened penalties under Title 18, United States Code, Section 1030(c)(4)(B)(i).  Specifically, BRITTAIN faces a maximum term of 10 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release of not more than 3 years, a fine not to exceed $250,000, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tanner Kroeger.


Updated May 3, 2023