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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 20, 2022

Albany Man Sentenced to 111 Months for Stealing Nude Photos of Numerous Victims and Possessing Child Pornography

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Michael P. Fish, age 26, of Albany, was sentenced today 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.

The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr.; United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman; Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and State University of New York-Plattsburgh Police Chief Patrick Rascoe.

As part of his May 19, 2020 guilty plea, Fish admitted that from about 2016 to 2019—while an undergraduate at SUNY-Plattsburgh and then as a law student—he accessed the school email accounts of dozens of female SUNY-Plattsburgh students and used information from those school email accounts to gain unauthorized access to the victims’ social media accounts.  Fish stole, and traded online with others, private nude photographs and videos stored in the victims’ social media accounts.  As a result of these crimes, the school had to allocate money and staff to identifying compromised accounts, reviewing computer and server access logs, resetting passwords, and notifying students and parents.  Fish further admitted that on March 19, 2019, he possessed several videos of child pornography on his laptop computer. 

United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino also imposed a 15-year term of supervised release, which will start after Fish is released from prison, and ordered Fish to pay $35,430 in restitution to SUNY-Plattsburgh.

A co-conspirator, Nicholas Faber, was sentenced to 36 months in prison on August 19, 2021, for computer hacking and aggravated identity theft offenses.

In January 2021, Fish was charged by criminal complaint with obstruction of justice for submitting six fraudulent character letters to the court in connection with sentencing in this proceeding.  That case remains pending.  The charges in the complaint are merely accusations.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

This case was investigated by the FBI with substantial assistance from the SUNY-Plattsburgh Police Department.  Deputy Chief Michael Stawasz from the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua R. Rosenthal and Wayne A. Myers, prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Cybercrime
Identity Theft
Project Safe Childhood
Updated May 21, 2022