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Press Release

Former Columbia Sportswear Information Technology Employee Pleads Guilty to Computer Intrusions

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

PORTLAND, Ore. – On Wednesday, August, 30, 2017, Michael Leeper, 41, of Tigard, Oregon, pleaded guilty in United States District Court to intentionally accessing the Columbia Sportswear Company’s network without authorization in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030.


From May 2000 to February 2014, Leeper was employed by Columbia and eventually became the company’s Director of Technical Infrastructure in 2012. In March 2014, Leeper resigned from his position with Columbia and began working for an information technology vender. After leaving Columbia, Leeper remotely accessed the company’s network on a continuous basis, accessing and viewing commercially valuable and private information.


Leeper faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 7, 2017 before United States District Court Judge Robert E. Jones.


“As a result of the Columbia Sportswear Company’s cooperation and a thorough investigation by the FBI’s Oregon Cyber Task Force, we have secured an appropriate conviction” said Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon. “Unauthorized computer intrusion is a serious crime, and those that unlawfully gain sensitive or proprietary information must be held accountable for their illegal conduct.”


This case was investigated by the FBI’s Oregon Cyber Task Force and prosecuted by Scott E. Bradford, Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Oregon.

Updated August 30, 2017