Ex-St. Louis Cardinals Staffer Guilty of Hacking Astros Database

The Justice Department has secured the guilty plea of a diamond thief, in this case a former member of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball staff—the director of baseball development no less—who admitted to hacking into the Houston Astros database of confidential player and scouting data.

Christopher Correa, who is no longer with the club, pled guilty to five counts of illegally accessing the Astros computers between 2013 and 2014. Among the information he accessed, according to DOJ, included "lists ranking the players whom Astros scouts desired in the upcoming draft, summaries of scouting evaluations and summaries of college players identified by the Astros’ analytics department as top performers," as well as notes about potential trades and player development.

"Whether it’s preserving the sanctity of America’s pastime or protecting trade secrets, those that unlawfully gain proprietary information by accessing computers without authorization must be held accountable for their illegal actions," U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson said following the conviction in a Houston federal court.

“The theft of intellectual property by computer intrusion is a serious federal crime,” said special agent in charge Perrye Turner, with the FBI Houston division. “The Houston Cyber Task Force stands ready to identify, pursue and defeat cyber criminals who gain unauthorized access to proprietary data.  In each and every case, we will seek to hold those accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Correa could be sentenced to a maximum of 25 years in prison and a $1.25 million fine.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.