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Press Release

Winchester Man Sentenced for Computer Crime

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Christopher Wood to Pay $2,000 Fine, More than $61,000 in Restitution

HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA – A Winchester man, who previously pled guilty to a federal computer crime, was sentenced today in the United States District for the Western District of Virginia in Harrisonburg, United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. announced today.

Christopher Thomas Wood, 52, of Winchester, Virginia, previously pled guilty to one count of intentionally accessing and exceeding authorized access to a computer. Today in District Court, Wood was ordered to pay a fine of $2,000 and $61,710 in restitution.

“The prosecution of this case should serve as notice to everyone that the United States Attorney’s Office and our partners in law enforcement will investigate and punish those individuals who access protected computers without authorization,” United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. said today.

According to evidence presented at previous hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Grayson Hoffman through a filed statement of facts, Wood worked for a company, “Victim Company,” that had offices and operations in Winchester, Virginia. Wood worked as a web developer in the IT department at Victim Company.

On or about January 8, 2014, the defendant was fired from Victim Company. As a result, Victim Company deactivated Wood’s electronic credentials which had given him access to the company’s internal computer network and file server systems. Shortly after being fired, Wood went home to his residence in the Winchester area, and through his home computer, remotely logged onto Victim Company’s computer system using another employee’s credentials, without that employee’s knowledge or consent.

Wood accessed Victim Company’s database, without their consent, and deleted many files from the company’s servers and disabled some of Victim Company’s accounts. When Victim Company noticed the damage they contacted law enforcement.

On February 4, 2015, law enforcement investigators interviewed Wood at his home, at which time he admitted to logging onto the company’s computer system, without their consent, and while using another employee’s credentials. He admitted that he deleted files and disabled accounts because he was upset about losing his job. IP information obtained by investigators corroborate that a computer in Wood’s home did in fact access Victim Company’s computer systems. It was later determined that Victim Company spent approximately $61,710 as a result of the damage caused by the defendant’s actions.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Grayson Hoffman is prosecuting the case for the United States.


Updated March 22, 2016