You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 16, 2020

Former employee of medical packaging company charged with sabotaging electronic shipping records leading to the delay of PPE to healthcare providers

ATLANTA - Christopher Dobbins, a former employee of a medical device packaging company, has been charged by criminal complaint for conducting a computer intrusion into his former employer’s package shipping system and deleting shipping information.

“This defendant allegedly disrupted the delivery of personal protective equipment in the middle of a global pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Scarce medical supplies should go to the healthcare workers and hospitals that need them during the pandemic.  The Department of Justice is dedicated to moving quickly on cases like this to bring criminal opportunists to justice and protect the public during these challenging times.”

“The FBI is making it a priority during the worldwide pandemic to make sure crucial supplies are not being disrupted or diverted from the front lines of medical care,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “We are grateful to the medical packaging company for promptly reporting this disruption to their delivery of important medical supplies, so that we could react quickly.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the criminal complaint, and other information presented in court: On March 29, 2020, Christopher Dobbins allegedly conducted a computer intrusion that disrupted and delayed the medical device packaging company’s shipments of personal protective equipment (“PPE”).

While employed at the company, Dobbins had administrator access to the computer systems containing the company’s shipping information. In early March 2020, Dobbins was terminated from his employment at the company, losing his access to the company’s computer systems. On March 26, Dobbins received his final paycheck from the company. Three days later, Dobbins used a fake user account that he had previously created while employed at the company to log into the company’s computer systems.

Once logged in through the fake user account, Dobbins allegedly created a second fake user account and then used that second account to edit approximately 115,581 records and delete approximately 2,371 records. After taking these actions, the complaint alleges, Dobbins deactivated both fake user accounts and logged out of the system. The edits and deletions to the company’s records disrupted the company’s shipping processes, causing delays in the delivery of much-needed PPEs to healthcare providers.

Christopher Dobbins, 40, of Duluth, Georgia, will have his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Russell G. Vineyard.  He was charged by criminal complaint on April 15, 2020. 

Members of the public are reminded that the criminal complaint only contains charges.  The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating this case. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Samir Kaushal is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Georgia’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Fraud Task Force, aimed at better protecting the citizens of Georgia from criminal fraud arising from the pandemic. Formed by Georgia’s leading state and federal prosecutors, the task force serves to open channels of communication between partner agencies and more rapidly share information about COVID-19 fraud, while ensuring each fraud complaint is reported to the appropriate prosecuting agency. The task force member agencies include the Office of the Governor of Georgia, the Office of the Attorney General of Georgia, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia. Georgia’s three U.S. Attorneys, the Attorney General of Georgia and the Executive Counsel for the Governor’s Office serve on the task force. If you think you are a victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via email at disaster@leo.gov

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Topic(s): 
Coronavirus
Updated April 16, 2020