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TMCNet:  Computer administrator who hacked boss's email gets 6 months for extortion attempt

[May 02, 2013]

Computer administrator who hacked boss's email gets 6 months for extortion attempt

May 02, 2013 (The Columbus Dispatch - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A Delaware County man who tried to extort money from the engineering company he'd worked for was sentenced yesterday to six months in prison.

Donald "Chris" Dailey apologized for "doing such a stupid thing," but U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson said prison was necessary so Dailey could learn from his mistakes.

Dailey, 37, of Ruby Red Lane in Delaware, also hacked into his former girlfriend's email account.

"I would certainly feel violated by that," Watson said. "I'd perceive that as a threat." Dailey pleaded guilty in January to extortion and computer hacking.

In court, he said he was acting out of anger when he got into his ex-girlfriend's email last year. Claims that he was threatening to her and to others were misinterpreted, he said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah A. Solove said that people he worked with were afraid of him because he'd bragged about the numerous guns and knives he owned.

In its investigation, FBI agents found that Dailey plugged a hidden laptop into his company's computer network to hack into his boss's email in 2012.

He resigned as the company's information-technology administrator in October and then notified its chief executive officer that he had damaging information about the firm and its employees.

He said he'd make the information public if the company didn't pay him $69,000.

The company reported the extortion attempt to the FBI, and agents recorded conversations between Dailey and the CEO.

Dailey's former girlfriend told investigators that he changed her email password without her knowledge. Investigators found that he had sent malicious emails and had gotten into her online bank account.

He could have been sentenced to three years in prison and fined $350,000.

kgray@dispatch.com @reporterkathy ___ (c)2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) Visit The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) at www.dispatch.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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