A former Source Media Inc. executive was charged with hacking into the company's computer system three years after he was dismissed, and tipping off employees whose jobs were in jeopardy, prosecutors said Wednesday.
In a press release, the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan said Stevan Hoffacker, the company's one-time director of information technology and later vice president of technology, was charged with one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer network.
Source Media is the New York publisher of American Banker, the Bond Buyer and other financial publications. It is a unit of Bahrain's Investcorp.
Hoffacker, 53, faces up to five years in prison on the charge. He was arrested Wednesday in Queens, where he lives.
A lawyer for Hoffacker didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment late Wednesday.
Prosecutors have alleged that Hoffacker, who worked for Source Media and its predecessor company from 1998 to 2003, hacked into the company's e-mail network and sent e-mails to two Source Media employees in August and in September of this year, alerting them that they might lose their jobs. The messages were sent from a Yahoo account, according to court documents.
Hoffacker had access to usernames and passwords of other employees during his work in the company's information technology department, prosecutors said.
The two employees had been the subject of e-mails among executives discussing their employment status and possible termination, the government said.
According to court documents, the company was forced to retain the services of an outside law firm and had to redirect personnel to address the security breach. As a result, the damage to Source Media's business was more than $100,000, according to court records.