Former Cardinals Scouting Director Gets 46 months in Prison for Stealing Astros’ Data
I was a bit taken aback a few minutes ago when I read that former St. Louis Cardinal scouting director Chris Correa was just sentenced to 46 months in prison for breaking into the Houston Astros’ computer network and stealing the ‘Stros scouting reports. I never expected it would result in criminal sentencing, as opposed to civil monetary damages.
David Barron’s article in the Houston Chronicle has most of the details. What it apparently boils down to is that the judge treated this like any other serious cyber-crime. Obviously, big corporations have long since made sure that Congress criminalized the stealing of their valuable proprietary information.
Further, the Court obviously wanted to send a message and set an example in this high-profile case, making a point to state during sentencing that cyber-theft basically costs everyone money by forcing them to buy increasingly costly systems designed to prevent hacking. The judge has a point there.
Also, Correa accessed the Astros’ system 60 times in a 35 day period, far more than was originally reported. Correa was also fined $279,000.
It remains to be seen what penalty MLB imposes on the Cardinals. I would expect it to be steep in light of the punishment Correa received. MLB would look bad giving the Cardinals a slap on the wrist after Correa received almost four years in the can.
My guess is that the Cardinals will be ordered to pay the Astros some seven or eight figure sum, and more importantly lose one or more future first round draft picks.