Ex-Cardinals director pleads guilty in Astros hacking case
HOUSTON – The former director of baseball development for the St. Louis Cardinals appeared in federal court in Houston Friday afternoon to plead guilty to several counts of unauthorized access of the Houston Astros' confidential computer network.
Christopher Correa, of St. Louis, faces five counts of unauthorized access of a protected computer. Court documents state that Correa accessed the Astros 'Ground Control' database on five different occasions between March 2013 and June 2014.
According to court documents, Correa accessed Ground Control by using similar passwords that former Cardinals executive Jeff Luhnow used when he joined the Astros. Correa perused several pages of confidential information, including scouting reports, the Astros main draft page, Astros notes of trade discussions and the Astros web pages about the Cardinals.
Correa, 35, originally pleaded not guilty on Friday, then his attorney asked for a change of plea hearing and Correa pleaded guilty to all five counts. He faces up to five years in prison for each count and a possible $250,000 fine. He also gave up his right to an appeal.
Correa told the judge in court that he is not working at the time, but is looking for work with "whoever will have me."
The judge said that United States prosecutors claim Correa said he is really sorry.
Prosecutors said Correa masked his identity, his location and the type of device that he used, and that the total intended loss for all of the intrusions is approximately $1.7 million.
Correa is no longer employed by the Cardinals organization. No other personnel associated with the Cardinals have been charged.