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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 11, 2022

Brooklyn Man Charged for Fraudulently Entering Competitor Laboratory and Destroying and Stealing Equipment

NEWARK, N.J. – A Brooklyn, New York, man was arrested today for allegedly entering a laboratory business on false pretenses and destroying and stealing that business’ equipment, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Eric Leykin, 31, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged by complaint with one count of wire fraud and one count of accessing a protected computer without authorization and recklessly causing damage.  He appeared by videoconference today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jessica S. Allen in Newark federal court and was released on $1 million unsecured bond.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Leykin was the CEO of a clinical reference laboratory based in New Jersey. Leykin’s laboratory competed against the victim business, another clinical reference laboratory also based in New Jersey.  On June 30, 2022, Leykin bought a prepaid mobile phone and called an employee of the victim business, claiming to be a technician with a vendor that the victim business used to service its laboratory equipment. On that false pretense, Leykin scheduled an appointment with the victim business’ employee to supposedly service some of the victim business’ laboratory equipment. On July 1, 2022, the date of the supposed service appointment, Leykin went to the victim business and proceeded to destroy a significant amount of the victim business’ laboratory and computer equipment, in at least one instance doing so with a USB kill stick device. Leykin also stole multiple hard drives housed within the victim business’ equipment.

The wire fraud count carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and the computer intrusion count carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison. Both counts also carry a maximum fine of either $250,000 or twice the gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest. 

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark; the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II; the Millburn Police Department, under the direction of Chief Brian Gilfedder; and the FBI in New York, under the direction of Assistant Director Michael Driscoll, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Trombly of the Cybercrime Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
22-302
Updated August 11, 2022