Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Former City IT Manager Patrick Ricciardi pleads guilty for looting and sharing emails in Mayor's Office

Da Horsey BREAKING NEWS ...


The US Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey announces:

FORMER CITY OF HOBOKEN IT MANAGER PLEADS GUILTY TO ILLEGALLY INTERCEPTING AND DISCLOSING E-MAILS INTENDED FOR HOBOKEN MAYOR AND TOP CITY OFFICIALS

NEWARK, N.J. – A former management information systems specialist for the city of Hoboken pleaded guilty today for intercepting communications meant for the mayor of Hoboken and top city officials and passing some of those communications on to other officials, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Patrick Ricciardi, 46, of Hoboken, entered a guilty plea – before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court – to an Information charging him with accessing a computer without authorization, interception of wire and electronic communications and disclosure of intercepted wire and electronic communications.

According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Ricciardi was a longstanding employee of the city of Hoboken and worked as the chief information technology officer for the mayor’s office. As part of his job duties, Ricciardi was responsible for keeping the city’s network running and had access to email accounts within the city’s computer system and other aspects of the city’s computer network.

In April 2011, Ricciardi created an archive file on his work computer to intercept and store all emails sent to and from the mayor and certain of the mayor’s employees. Neither the mayor nor any other city employee authorized the storage of the emails or the creation of the file.

During his guilty plea proceeding, Ricciardi admitted he used his access to set up the email accounts of the mayor and two of the mayor’s top lieutenants so all of their incoming and sent emails would be sent to the archive folder.

He also admitted that he read some of the emails in order to spy on the mayor and her assistants, and forwarded them to other current and former city officials.

Ricciardi is scheduled to be sentenced on July 1, 2013, before Judge Salas. Each of the three counts carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI’s Cyber Crimes Task Force, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zach Intrater of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section in the Office’s Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

13-130 ###


Defense counsel: Assistant Federal Public Defender Donald McCauley, Esq.


Patrick Ricciardi pled guilty to three counts for his
theft and distribution of communications from the
Mayor's Office.  Sentencing is set for July 1.
Update: 4:30

According to a Jersey Journal story:

(Judge) Salas said she cannot impose more than a 5-year sentence, but will follow the sentencing guidelines that take into account what he did and how he cooperated with the justice system.

Talking Ed Note: MSV believes there's been clarification when the communications looting took place out of the Mayor's office. In the complaint against Patrick Ricciardi, the theft started in early 2010. It's probably a typo in today's release saying 2011, it likely meant April 2010.

 In April 2011, Council members Beth Mason and Michael Russo sponsored a resolution to obtain all the emails of two of the mayor's staff.

Their effort by was finally halted but not by the FBI raid on City Hall in late May, but on July 1 when Jen Giattino was sworn in and voted the email hunt resolution down thus ending Beth Mason's efforts to make harmless the FBI's evidence, rendering it public.

Related:
Beth Mason and Michael Russo 'declare war' on FBI email conspiracy investigation
Public Questioning: Beth Mason, have you seen the (stolen) emails?
Mason answers the wrong question on email conspiracy, confesses!
A possible chronology with the FBI and Michael Russo
Hoboken411 linked to Patrick Ricciardi in secret visits to his City Hall office
Beth Mason's meeting with FBI informant Solomon Dwek
The Ultimate Email Conspiracy Timeline by Grafix Avenger
Video: Beth Mason loses it on questions surrounding email theft

Update: An early evening conversation with the US Attorney's Office in Newark confirmed the dates of the  massive Data Theft Conspiracy going back to April 2010.  Mayor Dawn Zimmer was elected mayor by the people of Hoboken in November 2009.

If you think the looting of approximately 100,000 electronic communications in and out of the mayor's office including some from this website ends with three or four people, Da Horsey has a bridge to sell you.

The Jersey Journal added some critical information to the news today of Patrick Ricciardi's plea of guilty.  Happy nightmares minions.

Hat tip: Charles Hack.