Former City Of Hoboken IT Manager Pleads Guilty To Illegally Intercepting And Disclosing E-mails Intended For Hoboken Mayor And Top City Officials
NEWARK, N.J. – A former management information systems specialist for the city of Hoboken pleaded guilty today for intercepting communications meant for the mayor of Hoboken and top city officials and passing some of those communications on to other officials, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Patrick Ricciardi, 46, of Hoboken, entered a guilty plea – before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court – to an Information charging him with accessing a computer without authorization, interception of wire and electronic communications and disclosure of intercepted wire and electronic communications.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Ricciardi was a longstanding employee of the city of Hoboken and worked as the chief information technology officer for the mayor’s office. As part of his job duties, Ricciardi was responsible for keeping the city’s network running and had access to email accounts within the city’s computer system and other aspects of the city’s computer network.
In early 2010, Ricciardi created an archive file on his work computer to intercept and store all emails sent to and from the mayor and certain of the mayor’s employees. Neither the mayor nor any other city employee authorized the storage of the emails or the creation of the file.
During his guilty plea proceeding, Ricciardi admitted he used his access to set up the email accounts of the mayor and two of the mayor’s top lieutenants so all of their incoming and sent emails would be sent to the archive folder.
He also admitted that he read some of the emails in order to spy on the mayor and her assistants, and forwarded them to other current and former city officials.
Ricciardi is scheduled to be sentenced on July 1, 2013, before Judge Salas. Each of the three counts carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI’s Cyber Crimes Task Force, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zach Intrater of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section in the Office’s Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Assistant Federal Public Defender Donald McCauley, Esq.