January 31, 2017 Update: ABC News reports that Major League Baseball completed its investigation of the hacking incident and (i) ordered the St. Louis Cardinals to pay $2 million to the Houston Astros within 30 days and (ii) transferred the Cardinals’ top two draft picks in the 2017 draft to the Astros.
July 25, 2016 Update: On July 18, 2016 the court sentenced Chris Correa to 46 months imprisonment and to pay $279,038 in restitution.
In a prior post, I discussed the FBI investigation into whether the St. Louis Cardinals hacked into the Houston Astros’ computer network. At that time, the FBI believed that a Cardinals’ employee was able to do so because the Astros’ General Manager previously worked for the Cardinals and re-used Cardinals’ computer passwords in the Astros’ computer system.
On January 8, 2016, the Cardinals’ former scouting director, Chris Correa, pled guilty to five counts of Unauthorized Access of a Protected Computer. The maximum penalty is a $250,000 fine for each count and five years in prison.
The Plea Agreement signed by Mr. Correa states that he was able to access the email and computer database accounts of an Astros employee (presumably the GM) because that employee used a password that was a variation on a password previously used at the Cardinals. Mr. Correa agreed that the government could prove that he accessed an Excel file of the Astros’ scouting list of every eligible player for the 2013 MLB draft, which disclosed how the Astros ranked each player. He also accessed the Astros’ scouting reports on players and notes of the Astros’ trade discussions.
Photograph by JML78 displayed pursuant to the license located at: