Albany Man Pleads Guilty to Obstruction of Justice
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Michael P. Fish, age 26, of Albany, pled guilty today to obstruction of justice for submitting seven fraudulent character letters to the United States District Judge overseeing a now-concluded criminal case in which Fish was convicted of computer hacking, identity theft and child pornography crimes.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
As part of his guilty plea, Fish admitted that he submitted seven fraudulent character letters to United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino in December 2019, in an effort to deceive the court and obtain leniency during his sentencing in the case. Specifically, Fish admitted that he doctored four letters, including one from a priest, and outright faked another three letters, including ones purportedly from his mother and grandparents.
Fish faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years when he is sentenced by Judge D’Agostino on October 26, 2022. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.
In his underlying criminal case, Fish was sentenced to 111 months in prison for computer fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with his hacking of online social media accounts and theft of nude images of dozens of female victims, as well as possession of child pornography.
This case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua R. Rosenthal.