Florida man sentenced to 8 years in data theft
46-year-old Scott Levine, the owner of a company named Snipermail, stole over a billion records.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A former officer of an Internet company was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison in a massive theft of personal data from Acxiom Corporation, which manages personal, financial and corporate data, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.
A jury in Little Rock, Ark., convicted 46-year-old Scott Levine in August of 120 counts of unauthorized access of a protected computer, two counts of access device fraud and one count of obstruction of justice, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
Levine, of Boca Raton, Fla., was the controlling owner of Snipermail, Inc., a corporation which engaged in distributing advertisements over the Internet to e-mail addresses. From January through July 2003, prosecutors said, he stole more than a billion records containing personal information such as names, mailing and e-mail addresses and phone numbers of Acxiom Corporation clients.
"Levine used sophisticated decryption software to illegally obtain passwords and exceed his authorized access to Acxiom databases, which contained information belonging to Acxiom's clients," a statement from the Justice Department said. Former Snipermail employees testified against Levine in the case.
There is no evidence that the data sold by Levine or others associated with the investigation was used in identity theft or credit card schemes, authorities said, but some of it was resold to a broker for use in an ad campaign.
"This sentence reflects the seriousness of these crimes," said U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins. "At first blush, downloading computer files in the privacy of your office may not seem so terribly serious. But if you are stealing propriety information worth tens of millions of dollars from a well-established and reputable company, you can expect to be punished accordingly."
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