Lithuanian national who sold information on 10,000 people gets probation
A Lithuanian national who, at 19, sold access to computer servers containing personal information for 10,000 people has matured during the past four years and doesn't need to spend time in prison before he's deported, a Pittsburgh federal judge decided on Monday.
Tadas Petrauskas, 23, of Brick, N.J., pleaded guilty in July to a single count of identity theft.
U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer granted a motion by Assistant Federal Public Defender Linda Cohn to sentence Petrauskas below the federal guideline range of 10 to 16 months. Cohn said that in addition to maturing, Petrauskas worked the past two years providing computer security to an Internet company. Because of the felony conviction, he will be deported to Lithuania or to Ireland, where his father lives, she said.
Petrauskas apologized for his crime and for hurting his family. He said he's trying to make up for the offense.
“I'm trying to protect the company I work with,” he said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Hull agreed that Petrauskas seems to have reformed but argued that his deportation shouldn't be a reason for leniency, because many of the people who commit computer fraud against U.S. citizens are foreign nationals.
If the federal agents managed to bring them to the United States for prosecution, sending them back without prison time would not deter them and others from crimes, Hull said.
Petrauskas sold 39 log-in names and passwords to an undercover FBI agent, effectively giving access to all the websites and personal accounts hosted on the data-hosting company's computers, prosecutors say.
He sold the information for $2,000 on “Dark Market,” an online criminal swap meet that the FBI took over in 2006 and operated for two years to gather information on people buying and selling identity information.
Fischer sentenced Petrauskas to five years of probation and 75 hours of community service. She noted that although the sentence seems lenient, if Petrauskas illegally returns to the United States during that time, he would face a prison sentence for committing another crime while on probation.
Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates get journeyman Ishikawa off waivers; outfielder Marte injured
- Apple Hill Playhouse takes on an updated ‘Snow White’
- Alvarez homer triggers winning outburst for Pirates
- Cost of Glade Run Lake dam to beat estimates
- Firefighters respond to two-alarm fire in McKeesport
- Springdale counters despair with ‘HOPE’
- PennDOT team decides what spells trouble on vehicle license plates
- Newsmaker: Lauren Bailey
- 87th St. Rita’s Festival scheduled in Connellsville
- Alle-Kiski farmers: Crops weather heavy rain
- Wildfires break out in Spain, Portugal