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Man pleads guilty to damaging former employer’s computer, disrupting medical supplies shipments

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    Duluth, GA (Gwinnett Daily Post) — A Duluth man accused of altering his former employer’s computer records, resulting in a a delay in the shipment of PPE medical supplies to healthcare providers during the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic, has pleaded guilty, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday.

Christopher Dobbins, 40, was accused of deleting and modifying electronic shipping and other business records at his former employer, which is a medical device packaging company. Federal prosecutors have said his actions led to shipments of personal protective equipment, designed to protect healthcare workers during the pandemic, being delayed.

The tampering Dobbins plead guilty to engaging in occurred in March, after he was fired from his job at the company.

“Preventing scarce medical supplies from being delivered to healthcare workers and hospitals that need them is illegal,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said. “Thanks to the cooperation of the victim company and the hard work of our law enforcement partners, we were able to bring this investigation to a swift conclusion and obtain a conviction for this egregious act.”

Dobbins is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 16 in the federal District Court for the northern Georgia district.

He had been accused of using a fake account that he had created before he was fired to access his employer’s computer network after his employment was terminated in early March. Dobbins had administrator access to the computer network while he was employed at the company, federal officials said.

He allegedly used his fake account to create a second fake account and then used that account to delete about 2,371 records and edit about 115,581 more records.

The access occurred March 29, three days after he received his last paycheck from his employer. After he altered the records, federal prosecutors said he then deactivated both fake accounts.

“Thanks to the quick reaction of the medical packaging company in contacting the FBI, we were able to react quickly and arrest this disgruntled employee,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “During this world wide epidemic it is imperative that we make sure crucial medical supplies are not disrupted or diverted from the front lines of medical care.”

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