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Press Release

Rochester Man Sentenced For Hacking Online Accounts Of Women

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Justin Potts, 37, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted of transfer of a means of identification, was sentenced to three years’ probation by U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa M. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that between March 2015 and December 2016, the defendant gained unauthorized access to various women’s digital accounts, all of which were password protected. During this time period, Potts used his technical knowledge and password breaking software to harvest the usernames and passwords of more than 100 women’s online accounts including Facebook accounts, iCloud accounts, Gmail accounts, Yahoo accounts and Hotmail accounts. The defendant entered these accounts without permission of the owners and used this access to obtain their personal information and personal photographs.  Potts saved the personal information of the various women on his electronic devices.

Investigators believe 150 victims were targeted as a result of the computer intrusion scheme orchestrated by Potts.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Rochester Office, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert, and the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief La’Ron Singletary.

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Updated July 9, 2019