Not so hacktackular

CardsLogoWe have a plea in Hackgate.

Christopher Correa, the Cardinals former director of baseball development, later its scouting director, has pled guilty to five federal counts in the case of hacking into the scouting databases of Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow and his staff.

It should be noted that, some conspiratorial types aside, he was the only person charged in the case.

That said, this is not minor. Each of the five charges, presumably each from a separate entry into the Astros system, bears punishment of up to five years in prison, $250K in fines or both, per the Houston Chronicle. Chronicle sports blogger David Barron Tweets that sentencing is set for April 11.

Correa will also pay $275K restitution based on the estimated value of the damages:

The value of the information that Correa gained unauthorized access has been set at $1.7 million. Federal attorneys said they came to the $1.7 million figure based on the Astros’ scouting budget and the number of players included in the database.

More details on the St. Louis side from Derrick Goold at the Post-Dispatch, with Correa admitting in court he was “stupid.” Goold notes, per the offenses, that sentencing is not expected to be nearly as severe as the maximum.

While MLB teams cannot sue each other, they can ask for damages via the commissioner’s office. Sounds like Bill DeWitt will now need to get out the checkbook.

On that end, Goold adds this:

Major League Baseball, according to officials, have been waiting for a resolution to the investigation before beginning its own. The commissioner’s office intends to look into the results of the federal investigation when determining if and when penalties will be assessed against the Cardinals.

I would think Commissioner Manfred would like to clear this up before the start of the year, if not even the start of spring training.

31 thoughts on “Not so hacktackular

    1. Yeah, he was full of bluster a few months ago. I suspect the Eff Bee Eye, which had quotes in both the Chron and PD links, had a LOT of goods on him that they revealed after he opened his trap.


      1. Apparently, for this type of crime, sentences run concurrently…WTF is the point of “concurrent sentences”? Do they make your stay less comfortable if you have 5 concurrent sentences instead of just one sentence? Like, no jello cup for 1 concurrent sentence, no 2nd towel for a 3rd consecutive sentence, etc.?


        1. Right. And, even the 5 years isn’t likely. But, per what I said in the body, his parole afterword could forbid him from working at jobs that required Internet use or something.


      2. My guess is that prosecutors charge you with all five counts to reduce the likelihood that a jury acquitting on a particular count lets the defendant walk free, but the additional counts didn’t provide any additional harm, so they can run concurrently. Same thing with appeals, I’d guess. I am most certainly not a lawyer, though, so take that with a grain of salt.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I honestly wouldn’t trust the gov’t especially in cases involving computers. Look at the case of Aaron Swartz. Guy is arrested for setting up a python script to download academic journals from MIT, even though he was given access. The feds wanted to charge him with up to 35 years in prison…


        1. Oh, he’s a good precautionary tale of, somewhat, the national security state, but even more, about how BOTH major parties have gone in the tank for Silicon Valley ever since the passage of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.


      4. I am not going to hash it out here, but the Aaron Schwartz case is far more complicated than his supporters make it sound, and he was always an unstable personality. I did feel the charges were on the excessive side, but he had the opportunity to plead it down, and he actually did do some very illegal actions. But again, I won’t rehash it all here.


  1. Of course the typical reason for a guilty plea is some kind of bargain on the penalty. I imagine the Prosecutors will ask for a sentence considerably reduced sentence.

    But the Astros need to sue the Cards for eleventy-billion squillion dollars!

    I want a player budget like the Dodgers have.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Why don’t they already have a player budget up there with the Dodgers and Yankees? Houston is the 4th most populous city in the country. Probably a lot of big spending billionaires round them parts too.


  2. I can’t seem to find out elsewhere, so I’ll ask here. What about the other 7 charges? Is the FBI gonna charge somebody else? Dismiss them?


    1. Almost certainly, they were dismissed as part of the plea. And probably, though exact numbers weren’t thrown around, Correa and team probably have some idea of sentencing. I’ll venture 1 year in a white-collar minimum security place, followed by at least 5 years parole which will include restrictions on the type of work he can do, and fine in the $300-500K range.


      1. The sentence is light. For his previous salary, the fine is not….plus, you know, his career is over.

        How stupid could you possibly be? Obviously, very stupid.

        Especially risking so much for so little gain.


      2. No one is hiring him to work in baseball again. Whatever service he could possibly provide won’t be worth the PR hit or any negative effects. He’s “just” an analyst, those guys are replaceable….and there are way more people that can do it than jobs….so, no reason to take a chance on him.


      3. I was going to say something about going to work for the CIA/DIA/DHS/NSA, but the amateurity of the hack would probably preclude any interest.


      4. Uh huh.

        You may have noticed that baseball front offices mostly hire people they already know and trust. Correa was hired at a low level position while he was a grad student and worked his way up on the data systems analysis side of things….and then completely fucked over everyone he knew in baseball…who were people that worked for the Cardinals…or…..wait for it….worked for the Astros.

        Essentially, he now has no friends in the sport and is going to jail for repeated stupidity that will likely fuck over his former team as well.

        Now, please explain, within the context of rampant cronyism that continues to exist (and even seems to be increasing) in MLB front offices, does hiring a felon you don’t know rate?


      5. Not to pick on you, badhair, but three letter agencies really do not hire criminal hackers. There is a huge community of white hat hackers out there you can hire from, why would you hire people who have already demonstrated themselves to be untrustworthy?


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