Computer tech for U.S. Coast Guard guilty of stealing personal info

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A computer technician working for the U.S. Coast Guard pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges he stole personal information from hundreds of computers and personal electronic devices he was paid to repair.

Larry Mathews, 34, of Pawcatuck waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford to “computer intrusion in furtherance of a tortious invasion of privacy,” according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly.

Mathews ran a computer repair business in Pawcatuck and, beginning in 2008, was also employed as a civilian contract employee for the U.S. Coast Guard as a computer “help desk” technician, according to court records. On more than 250 occasions, for his own use, Mathews copied personal information and files from computers and personal electronic devices that had been brought to him for repair. The personal information and files included account names and passwords, and sexually explicit photographs and videos.

The investigation revealed that Mathews shared the stolen personal information with one other individual, who reported the criminal activity to law enforcement in 2013.

Mathews is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny on Feb. 4, at which time he faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Edward Chang and Carolyn Ikari.

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