Former Cards exec sentenced to prision for hacking role
Published 12:02 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2016
HOUSTON — A federal judge sentenced the former scouting director of the St. Louis Cardinals to nearly four years in prison Monday for hacking the Houston Astros’ player personnel database and email system in an unusual case of high-tech cheating involving two Major League Baseball clubs.
Christopher Correa had pleaded guilty in January to five counts of unauthorized access of a protected computer from 2013 to at least 2014, the same year he was promoted to director of baseball development in St. Louis. He was fired last summer and now faces 46 months behind bars and a court order to pay $279,038 in restitution. He had faced up to five years in prison on each count.
Correa will remain free on bond until he reports to federal prison within about six weeks.
Correa read a letter in court before he was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes and he said he was “overwhelmed with remorse and regret for my actions” that cost him his career and his home.
“I violated my values and it was wrong. I behaved shamefully,” he said. “The whole episode represents the worst thing I’ve done in my life by far.”
The judge scolded Correa for his continued blaming of the Astros for his actions, saying Correa was acting like he was in middle school. Hughes did not elaborate on this information — part of a sealed presentencing report — but when he pleaded guilty in January, Correa had maintained he found proprietary Cardinals’ information in the Astros’ database.
Hughes said Correa’s actions were primarily about a loss of trust.
“The loss is that every baseball team has much tighter security, making it harder for honest people to go about their daily lives … A lot of little people whose lives were adversely affected by the cost taken to defend against people like you,” Hughes said.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred could discipline the Cardinals, possibly with a fine or a loss of draft picks, but has said only that he looked forward to getting details on the case from federal authorities.