Georgia man charged with sabotaging the delivery of PPE to health care providers

STAFF REPORT :::

A Georgia man is facing criminal charges for allegedly sabotaging shipping records, resulting in the delay of personal protective equipment to health care providers.

A press release issued by the United States Attorney General’s Office reports that Christopher Dobbins, a former employee of a medical device packaging company, has been charged by criminal complaint for conducting a computer intrusion into his former employer’s package shipping system and deleting shipping information.

“This defendant allegedly disrupted the delivery of personal protective equipment in the middle of a global pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Scarce medical supplies should go to the healthcare workers and hospitals that need them during the pandemic. The Department of Justice is dedicated to moving quickly on cases like this to bring criminal opportunists to justice and protect the public during these challenging times.”

“The FBI is making it a priority during the worldwide pandemic to make sure crucial supplies are not being disrupted or diverted from the front lines of medical care,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “We are grateful to the medical packaging company for promptly reporting this disruption to their delivery of important medical supplies, so that we could react quickly.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the criminal complaint, and other information presented in court: On March 29, 2020, Christopher Dobbins allegedly conducted a computer intrusion that disrupted and delayed the medical device packaging company’s shipments of personal protective equipment (PPE).

While employed at the company, Dobbins had administrator access to the computer systems containing the company’s shipping information. In early March 2020, Dobbins was terminated from his employment at the company, losing his access to the company’s computer systems. On March 26, Dobbins received his final paycheck from the company. Three days later, Dobbins used a fake user account that he had previously created while employed at the company to log into the company’s computer systems.

Once logged in through the fake user account, Dobbins allegedly created a second fake user account and then used that second account to edit approximately 115,581 records and delete approximately 2,371 records. After taking these actions, the complaint alleges, Dobbins deactivated both fake user accounts and logged out of the system. The edits and deletions to the company’s records disrupted the company’s shipping processes, causing delays in the delivery of much-needed PPEs to healthcare providers.

Christopher Dobbins, 40, of Duluth, Georgia, will have his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Russell G. Vineyard. He was charged by criminal complaint on April 15, 2020.

Members of the public are reminded that the criminal complaint only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating this case, and it is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Samir Kaushal.

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