Software executive sentenced for hacking

The president of Boulder software company Platte River Associates has been sentenced to probation for stealing files from a competitor's Web site.

The president of a U.S. software company has been sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to stealing password-protected files from a competitor.

Jay E. Leonard, 61, was sentenced to 12 months supervised probation and a US$2,500 fine after pleading guilty to one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer, a misdemeanor charge.

Leonard is the owner of Boulder, Colorado's Platte River Associates, a company that builds software used in petroleum exploration. He illegally accessed a password-protected area of the Web site belonging to his company's competitor Zetaware, according to a plea agreement filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

One week later, he chaired a company staff meeting in which "a tentative plan was discussed to exploit and to unlawfully utilize the downloaded Zetaware files for the economic gain of Platte River Associates," the plea agreement states.

Zetaware CEO Zhiyong He was tipped off to the intrusion by a confidential source, which he then reported to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), court filings state. In an interview Monday, he said he is not sure how Leonard was able to access his Web site, but that he believes that he may have been given a password.

He said that one of Leonard's employees may have turned his boss in. He knew Leonard professionally and was "very surprised" by the incident, he said.

Leonard accessed the Zetaware site from a Sprint wireless network at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport, located near Zetaware's headquarters, the plea agreement states.

In a separate case, Platte River Associates is also facing charges of "trading with the enemy," for allegedly allowing its software to be used to evaluate oil and gas development opportunities off the shore of Cuba, which is under a U.S. trade embargo. "The company has expressed an interest in pleading guilty," in that case, although no plea has been accepted by the judge, according to Jeffrey Dorschner, a spokesman for the United States Attorney's office prosecuting the two cases.

Leonard and his attorney did not return calls seeking comment for this story.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?