A former Corona del Mar High School tutor who was charged with 20 felony counts of computer access fraud has pleaded guilty. Timothy Lai, 29, admitted to illegally changing several students grades by using a USB device that he attached to teachers computers. Once the device was attached, it was able to pick up keystrokes that he later used to assist the students. One of the teachers noticed a change of grades and another teacher found a USB device attached to their computer which kicked off an investigation.
Lai, fled the country and was not arrested until October 2014 when he returned to the United States. Lai plead guilty to 20 felony counts of computer access fraud and one felony count of burglary in the second degree. He was sentenced to one year in county jail and placed on five years of probation. Absent this plea agreement, Lai faced up to 16 years in state prison.
Penal Code Section 502(c)(4) is the knowingly accessing without permission the computer of another to alter, add, delete or destroy data. This section carries a maximum punishment of 3 years in state prison. If you are being investigated for a crime involving computer access fraud, call our office today for a free consultation at (949) 558-0042.