Former Employee Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud
HOUSTON – A 28-year-old former employee of BP America Inc. has admitted he attempted to extort money from the company, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. George Koutsostamatis pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.
Koutsostamatis, of Chicago, was a BP employee. While employed there, he admitted he sent an email to BP falsely claiming to possess personal information of company employees and their families. He also claimed he had infiltrated BP’s computers and computer network system. He threatened to release the information if he was not paid 125 bitcoins.
U.S. District Judge Sim Lake accepted the plea today and has set sentencing for July 13, 2018. At that time, Koutsostamatis faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
The FBI Houston Cyber Task Force investigated this case. The FBI Houston Cyber Task Force is a multi-agency task force responsible for investigating, pursuing and defeating cyber criminals who seek to exploit our nation’s most significant computer systems, networks and critical infrastructure. The Houston field office of the FBI led the investigation with assistance from U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Houston and Chicago, FBI – Chicago field office and the National Crime Agency in the United Kingdom. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rodolfo Ramirez is prosecuting the case.