UGA business student, Michael Williams, has been accused of hacking into one of his professor's accounts to change his grades. Williams is not only a student at UGA but also an employee for UGA's technology services. Warrants were obtained against Williams earlier this week, and he surrendered on Wednesday.
According to reports, Williams is allegedly facing a total of 80 computer-related charges. These include 71 counts of computer forgery and 9 counts of computer trespass.
Computer forgery and computer trespass fall into the category of fraud crimes in Georgia.
Under O.C.G.A. §16-9-93(b), “a person will be guilty of computer trespass when they use a computer or computer network with knowledge that such use is without authority with the intention of deleting or in any way removing, either temporarily or permanently, any computer program or data from a computer or computer network; obstructing, interrupting, or in any way interfering with the use of a computer program or data; or altering, damaging, or in any way causing the malfunction of a computer, computer network, or computer program, regardless of how long the alteration, damage, or malfunction persists.”
Penalties for computer trespass in Georgia include fines up to $50,000, a prison sentence up to 15 years, or both. The victim of the computer trespass can also sue to recover any damages sustained.
Under O.C.G.A. §16-9-93(d), “a person will be guilty of computer forgery when they create, alter, or delete any data contained in any computer or computer network.”
Penalties for computer forgery in Georgia are the same as the penalties for computer trespass.
Computer crimes are extremely difficult and complicated to understand. An experienced and top-rated Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer can help make sense of each cyber crime. If the allegations against Williams are true, and he is facing these charges, he will need a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney to help him with his case.
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