Information Technology Manager Indicted for Damaging Servers and Illegally Intercepting E-Mail Accounts of Former Employer
CHICAGO—A former information technology manager for a Northbrook-based company was indicted Tuesday for allegedly damaging servers maintained by the company, intercepting company e-mails without authorization, and disclosing the contents of intercepted e-mails without authorization. The defendant, George N. Turner, was charged with one count of computer fraud, two counts of illegal wire interceptions, and four counts of disclosing information obtained from illegal wire interceptions in a seven count indictment returned by a federal grand jury, announced Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert J. Holley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Turner, 50, of Vernon Hills, will appear for an arraignment before Judge Feinerman on April 21, 2015, in U.S. District Court. The indictment seeks forfeiture of computers that were seized from Turner that were used in the commission of the crime.
According to the indictment, Turner worked for the victim company as the manager of information technology from approximately October 2007 through March 2014, during which time he had authorization to have access to the victim company’s computer network and servers, including the e-mail server. Turner no longer worked for the company after March 2014, and was no longer authorized to access the victim company’s computer network or servers.
Beginning in April 2014, Turner allegedly intercepted the company e-mail accounts of two of the victim company’s executives. Additionally, on May 12, 2014, Turner allegedly accessed and caused significant damage to some of the victim company’s servers. In July 2014, Turner allegedly sent multiple e-mails containing information he obtained from the victim company’s executives’ e-mail accounts. In four separate e-mails, Turner allegedly sent to other persons the victim company’s payroll information, executive bonus information, and pricing information.
“This defendant used his skills to cause significant damage to his former employer, and illegally to obtain private information. Cybercrime hurts companies and their employees, and we will prosecute those responsible,” stated Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney, after the charges were announced.
The computer fraud count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each of the illegal wire interception counts carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The government is being represented by Assistant United States Attorney Shoba Pillay.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.