Feds Say Rochester Man Hacked Co-Workers Personal Info, While On The Job

April 5, 2021

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Ameer Elashmawy, 28, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. to fraud and related activity in connection with computers. The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa M. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant was employed as an IT specialist at Trillium Heath in Rochester, and worked on a team responsible for overseeing the company’s network and assisting employees with various computer issues. In his position, Elashmawy had administrative access to all employee network accounts while they used their computers at work. Between April 2019 and January 2020, the defendant used his administrative access rights to search employees’ email and social media accounts without their knowledge or permission. In doing so, Elashmawy obtained personal identifiable information (PII), including copies of identification documents such as driver licenses and social security cards, as well as personal photographs of Trillium employees. The defendant, without authorization and for his own personal benefit, copied the personal photos and PII from such employees’ personal electronic devices. As a result of Elashmawy’s alleged actions, Trillium Health has spent more than $100,000 to safeguard and protect its impacted employees.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 12, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. before Judge Geraci.