Jackson Woman Pleads Guilty to Intentionally Damaging State Agency’s Protected Computers
Jackson, Miss. – Tara Steverson, 39, of Jackson, pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate to intentionally damaging protected computers, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Michelle A. Sutphin, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Mississippi.
Steverson was terminated from her position at the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) on July 31, 2017. On August 1, 2017, the day after her termination, Steverson unlawfully accessed one of the systems utilized by MDHS and intentionally changed several files, resulting in other users being unable to perform their usual and customary workflow functions. The affected system was used to retain records and plans of home care and generically supports the tracking of home and community based services such as in-home services, meal delivery, and caregiver support. Steverson did over $5,000 in damage before losing access to the system.
Steverson will be sentenced by Judge Wingate on October 28, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. She faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew W. Eichner.