ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Sterling man pleaded guilty today to intentionally damaging his former employer’s computer network.
According to court documents, Martin Mehran Taheri, 33, worked as an information technology operations manager at a data optimization company located in northern Virginia until November 2016. Following his termination from the company, Taheri repeatedly accessed his former employer’s network without authorization between December 2016 and February 2017. Then, in late July 2017, Taheri logged into his former employer’s network, powered off the company’s servers, and partially cleared an event log. Taheri’s actions rendered his former employer’s websites and commercial services unavailable until power to the servers was restored.
Taheri pleaded guilty to intentionally damaging a computer by knowing transmission. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when sentenced on July 27. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander P. Berrang is prosecuting the case.