Indiana teen charged in large international hacking scheme

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By: Marisela Burgos

MCCORDSVILLE, Ind. (oct. 3, 2014)-- Authorities accuse an Indiana teenager of being a member of an international computer hacking ring.

Austin Alcala, 18, of McCordsville, Indiana has been indicted along with 3 other people. A federal grand jury indicted the group on April 23, 2014. The case was unsealed September 30.

The value of the intellectual property and other data that the defendants stole, as well as the costs associated with the victims’ responses to the conduct, is estimated to range between $100 million and $200 million.  To date, the United States has seized over $620,000 in cash and other proceeds related to the charged conduct.

Nathan Leroux, 20, of Bowie, Maryland and Sanadodeh Nesheiwat, 28, of Washington, New Jersey, plus David Pokora, 22 or Mississauga, Ontario, Canada were also charged. They face a number of federal charges from conspiracies to commit computer fraud to copyright infringement, and theft of trade secrets.

FOX59 spoke with one of Alcala’s former high school classmates. Holtz Ludlam, 18, went to Guerin Catholic High School in Noblesville, Indiana with Alcala. Ludlam said he had a few classes with Alcala freshman year. He said Alcala left after 9th grade.
“I was shocked (about the accusations), but it didn’t really surprise me with Austin,” Ludlam said.

Alcala is accused of hacking into computer networks as well as stealing millions of dollars’ worth of company information. Authorities said Microsoft and the U.S. Army were victims. Court documents indicate this crime may have started January 2011 and could have lasted through October 2013.

“The kid was..he was smart. He was always pushing the boundaries, you know, (with) what he could get away with in school,” Ludlam said.

FOX 59 tried to contact Alcala’s family and his attorney, but we have not received a response.

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