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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 28, 2013

Nurse Sentenced To Four Months In Prison For Illegally Accessing Supervisor’s Personal Email Accounts

CONTACT: Fred Alverson
Public Affairs Officer

COLUMBUS – Adriann Brierley, 37, of Buckeye Lake, Ohio was sentenced in U.S. District Court today to four months in prison for illegally accessing the personal email accounts of her supervisor at the hospital where she worked, copying personal information and distributing it.

Carter M. Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Edward J. Hanko, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced the sentence imposed today by U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost.

Brierley, a registered nurse, pleaded guilty on October 31, 2012 to one count of computer intrusion which is a felony.

According to court documents, in 2008, Brierley broke into her supervisor’s password protected accounts for her personal email, a social network and a private dating service, copied all the information stored at the accounts and reset the passwords for the accounts. Brierley created a lengthy document composed of the personal emails, photographs and dating site conversations of her victim. The document contained Brierley’s derogatory comments about the victim’s job performance, sex life and personal photographs. Brierley sent the document to the victim’s email contacts, employer and co-workers.

“The victim’s workplace became difficult due to the embarrassment and the false allegations in the widely circulated document the defendant created,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah A. Solove wrote in a memorandum filed with the court before today’s sentencing hearing. “Computer intrusion to steal business secrets or to damage a critical computer system may be dealt with harshly because a financial motive for financial loss helps to peg the damage and thus pick the guideline range,” Solove wrote. “Because the loss of one’s reputation and the entire social fabric of one’s life is not so easily measured, the court should not ignore the seriousness of the damage.”

Brierley will also be under court supervision for two years following completion of her prison sentence.

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation by FBI agents, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Solove who represented the government in this case.

Updated July 23, 2015