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Ohio man admits to extorting Pitt officials

| Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 6:50 p.m.

An Ohio man pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to use YouTube, Gmail and Twitter to extort University of Pittsburgh officials in April.

“I do plead guilty, your honor,” said Alexander Waterland, 25, of Loveland Ohio, after Assistant U.S. Attorney James Kitchen described how Waterland and Brett Hudson, 26, of Hillsboro, Ohio, extorted university officials.

The pair claimed to have about 200 gigabytes of personal information on faculty and staff that they would release unless the chancellor apologized for “failing” to protect students during a series of bomb threats earlier in the spring.

Kitchen agreed with Waterland's attorney, Anthony Bittner, that the pair never actually hacked into the university's secure computer servers.

Conti scheduled Waterland's sentencing for March 15. Hudson pleaded guilty to the conspiracy in October, and Conti scheduled his sentencing for Feb. 8.

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