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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Former Trillium Health Employee Charged With Cyberhacking Multiple Co-Workers

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Ameer Elashmawy, 28, of Rochester, NY, was charged by criminal complaint with unauthorized access of a protected computer and identity theft. The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa M. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, the defendant was an Information Systems Security Support Coordinator at Trillium Health in Rochester, and was responsible for the company's information system security design and oversight. Elashmawy also assisted employees with their various IT needs as they arose. The defendant had administrative rights and could log onto other employee work accounts, however, he was not allowed to access personal accounts of employees or former employees.

On January 6, 2020, after an employee noticed unusual activity on the Trillium Health network and traced the activity to a device located at Elashmawy’s work area, Trillium Health contacted law enforcement and an investigation began into the defendant’s cyber intrusion into co-worker's accounts. The investigation included a review of three USB thumb drives, an HP laptop computer, two work Dell PCs a hard drive, and two Apple I-phones, and the suspect device. A preliminarily review of the items identified that at least 14 identified victims, all employees from Trillium Health, had their personal accounts (social media, I-cloud, etc.) compromised by Elashmawy. The data reviewed included personal explicit photos and videos of the victims as well as numerous photos of the victim’s driver’s licenses, credit cards, social security cards, and other personal data. During the course of the investigation and continued analysis of computer devices, it was learned that additional employees or former employees of Trillium Health had been victimized by the defendant.

As a result of Elashmawy’s alleged actions, Trillium Health has spent more than $100,000 to safeguard and protect its impacted employees.

The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark W. Pedersen and was released on conditions.

The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia. 

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.      

Topic(s): 
Cyber Crime
Updated October 29, 2020