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10/11/2007
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Former IT Admin Convicted of Sabotage

Disgruntled staffer faces 10 years in jail after destroying payroll and HR files at Pentastar

Joseph Patrick Nolan faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine today after being convicted of destroying critical payroll and personnel data at Pentastar Aviation LLC, his former employer.

Nolan, a 26-year-old IT worker, resigned from Pentastar on January 15 of this year, according to court documents. He was told that he would not have to work during the two weeks' notice he had given the company -- as long as he signed a separation agreement by January 26, which he failed to do.

On January 30, Nolan called Pentastar's human resources department, inquiring about his final paycheck. Nolan was told that he would not receive the check, because he hadn't signed the separation agreement.

On February 1, the disgruntled Nolan gained unauthorized access to Pentastar's computer systems and effectively obliterated a drive that contained all of the company's payroll and personnel records, according to court documents.

Pentastar, a private company that offers a wide variety of aviation maintenance, leasing, and catering services, spent about $30,000 to repair the damage, according to court documents. The court filings do not say exactly how he accomplished the feat, or how the data was recovered.

Nolan will be sentenced on January 24.

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Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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