A software engineer from Australia has been found guilty in the United States of hacking, stealing money from universities and using his position to commit other crimes.
Key points:The defendant, 21, was convicted of four counts of theft of intellectual property (IP) and three counts of wire fraudIn his sentencing, Judge Thomas R. Cavanaugh said the defendant was a “good man with a good heart”The defendant has been ordered to pay $1.7 million in restitution and a $500,000 fine.
The defendant was charged in 2016 and was also charged in the UK and Spain, but the court in the US has not yet heard any evidence from either country.
In the UK, he was arrested in April and was extradited to the US.
The defendant pleaded guilty in New York in October to the same offences.
The trial at New York’s federal court was the first of its kind in the country.
Prosecutors said the accused stole about $1m worth of intellectual properties and that the defendant used his position at a university to facilitate and further his criminal activity.
“He used his office to further his conduct of the offense,” Assistant US Attorney Andrew Faulds said.
“His actions have taken him from the university and his home to the university’s corporate headquarters and back again, all while working at a salary well below the minimum wage required by the law.”
Mr FauldSears said the theft of IP and the use of the university computer systems to access it were both “significant” and “significant breaches” of intellectual copyright laws.
“The defendants stole intellectual property from the institution’s network and stole money from the institutions trust fund,” the prosecutor said.
The accused’s lawyer, John O’Connell, said he was not surprised the defendant had been convicted in the States.
“This is the sort of case that was so serious and so shocking that I had to think that it would be better for him to come to America and be in a different country,” he said.
But the defendant’s defence lawyer, Michael Bocock, said the case was an example of what the US could learn from other countries when it comes to prosecuting cyber criminals.
“It’s an example that we can learn from and how to make our laws more effective,” Mr Bococks said.