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Man Pleads Guilty to Extensive Computer Hacking Scheme Involving Nearly 50 victims

Brader Velverton, age 24, of Thibodaux, plead guilty on Tuseday to a one-count Bill of Information charging him with unauthorized access of a protected computer.

According to court documents, between 2013 and December 2015, Velverton access the personal online accounts, including email, educational, social media, and “cloud” storage accounts of at least 49 individuals without their knowledge or authorization. All of the individuals whose accounts Velverton accessed without authorization were individuals he knew. The vast majority of the victims were females, as well as several of their significant others.

Velverton obtained access to an account by using publicly accessible information, or information he knew about he victim, to insolate the password for one of the accounts, usually his/her social media account. Velverton then used the information contained in the social media account to obtain the password to other accounts of the victim. Once he obtained access to the accounts, he searched through them and obtained personal information of the victims, including, in some cases, sensitive photographs of the victims.

In case of one victim, Velverton viewed not more than 380 pictures stored on her various online accounts. After saving some of the pictures to his personal computer, Velverton uploaded at least two private, sensitive photographs of the victim that he obtained from her private accounts onto an online anonymous image trading board that provides for state-specific and city-specific section for individuals to upload, victim download, and trade images. During the upload process, Velverton entitled the images using the first name and last initial of the victim, so that other visitors to the website could readily identify the victim.

If convicted, Velverton faces a maximum term of imprisonment of not more than five years in prison, followed by up to three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. The sentencing is set for November 26, 2016.