Army sergeant pleads guilty to illegally accessing online system

July 19, 2013 

An Army sergeant from Columbus pleaded guilty Thursday to unlawfully obtaining personal information from the Army Knowledge Online computer system.

Ammie Brothers, 29, pleaded guilty before District Court Judge Clay Land in Columbus to one count of unauthorized access to information from a U.S. Army computer system, according to a release. She was indicted on five counts by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., stemming from a charge on Feb. 14. She faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison at sentencing on Oct. 24.

Between April 24, 2009, and Oct. 5, 2011, Brothers repeatedly and intentionally accessed two victim’ Army Knowledge Online accounts, which contain personnel files for members of the armed services, a statement of facts in the plea agreement shows. She initially gained access to information by calling the Army Knowledge Online help desk in the Eastern District of Virginia and providing the victim’ Social Security numbers and dates of birth to get temporary passwords.

Numerous documents printed from the Army Knowledge Online system were discovered when law enforcement searched Brothers’ home in Columbus. Documents contained Social Security numbers, bank account numbers and employment history including the Social Security number of a minor child.

In addition to illegally accessing the victims’ Army Knowledge Online accounts, Brothers admitted to law enforcement that she regularly harassed the victims by telephone and accessed several credit card accounts belonging to one victim, and in one case authorized charges without the victim’s knowledge or consent. Trial Attorney Peter V. Roman of the Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsay Kelly of the Eastern District of Virginia and Assistant U.S. Attorney Crawford L. Seals of the Middle District of Georgia prosecuted the case.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil H. MacBride; U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia Michael J. Moore; and Director Daniel T. Andrews of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Computer Crime Investigative Unit announced the guilty plea.

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