A former baseball scout for the St. Louis Cardinals has received four years in prison for hacking into the player database of Houston Astros, a rival team.
On Monday, Christopher Correa read a letter in federal court prior to his sentencing, stating he was “overwhelmed with remorse and regret for my actions.”
As quoted by The New York Times, he went on:
“I violated my values and it was wrong. The whole episode represents the worst thing I’ve done in my life by far.”
Between March 2013 and April 2014, Correa breached the Astros’ system on several occasions to view the rival team’s information for the 2013 and 2014 Major League baseball (MLB) draft, a process by which the MLB assigns amateur baseball players to its teams.
According to court documents, a former Cardinals employee at one point left for the Astros and turned over his Cardinals laptop and password, but they used a “similar (albeit obscure) password” for their web accounts at the Astros. Correa exploited this oversight to gain access to the Astros system, also known as “Ground Control.”
Even when Ground Control required all of its users to change their passwords in the spring of 2014, the former Cardinals scout logged into the Astros employee’s email account, where he obtained their new password for the system.
News of this hacking incident, which is believed to have caused $1.7 million in damages, first surfaced in June 2015. The Cardinals fired their scout shortly thereafter.
Correa pleaded guilty back in January 2016 to five counts of unauthorized access to a protected computer. At the time, he faced five years in prison for each count.
In addition to serving prison time, the former scout for the Cardinals will pay $279,038 in restitution.
No charges have been filed against the Cardinals. However, the team could face punishment from the MLB in the form of a fine or a loss of draft picks.