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Press Release

Former Supervisor Pleads Guilty To Stealing Confidential Computer Files From The Federal Reserve Bank Of Chicago

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — A former supervisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago pleaded guilty today to a federal misdemeanor for stealing computer files containing confidential information relating to the bank’s responsibility to assess and monitor its credit risk exposure. The defendant, BRIAN MCCARTHY, admitted attempting to download on to his personal thumb drive approximately 300 computer files, and actually downloading 71 computer files, belong to the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank.

McCarthy, 31, of Elmhurst, was a senior credit analyst in the bank’s Statistical and Financial Reporting Department from 2009 to 2010, and in 2011 was a supervisor in the Statistical Support Group where he supervised approximately seven bank employees. He pleaded guilty to theft of property from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago at his arraignment after being charged in a criminal information filed last week in U.S. District Court.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, McCarthy is barred from participating directly or indirectly in the affairs of any financial institution insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. without prior written consent. McCarthy faces a maximum sentence of a year in prison and a $100,000 fine, and his plea agreement anticipates a federal sentencing guideline range of 10 to 12 months in prison. U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Cox set sentencing for Oct. 10.

According to his guilty plea, McCarthy had access to, and was entrusted with, sensitive information, and had signed a Code of Conduct agreement requiring him to leave behind all bank computer files when his employment ended. The theft occurred on Oct. 5, 2011, which was McCarthy’s last day of employment. He admitted taking steps to avoid detection and circumvent the bank’s information security systems, which nonetheless determined that information had been accessed and the Federal Reserve Bank contacted the FBI.

The plea agreement calls for McCarthy to pay $26,400 in restitution to the bank to reimburse it for employee time expended to determine how much information, and the nature of the material, that he downloaded.

The guilty plea was announced by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sunil Harjani.

Plea Agreement

Updated July 27, 2015