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August 31, 2015

Information Technology Manager Pleads Guilty to Sending Damaging Computer Code to Former Company’s Servers

A former information technology manager pleaded guilty today to sending damaging computer code to servers at his former employer, a software company, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker of the Eastern District of North Carolina and Special Agent in Charge John A. Strong of the FBI’s Charlotte, North Carolina, Division.

Nikhil Nilesh Shah, 33, of Union, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert T. Numbers II of the Eastern District of North Carolina, to one felony count of causing the transmission of computer code and, as a result, damaging computers and causing loss of at least $5,000 in value. Shah is scheduled to be sentenced in Dec. 8, 2015.

According to the indictment, from 2007 to March 2012, Shah was an information technology manager at Smart Online Inc., a company located in Durham, North Carolina, that developed platforms for the creation of mobile applications. Shah subsequently left Smart Online to work for another technology company. According to facts presented to the court in connection with his plea agreement, on June 28, 2012, Shah sent malicious computer code to Smart Online’s computer servers in Durham and Raleigh, North Carolina, causing at least $5,000 in damage and deleting much of Smart Online’s intellectual property.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Raleigh, North Carolina, Field Office. The case is being prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney Richard D. Green of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas B. Murphy and Adam Hulbig of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of North Carolina.

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