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Law Firm’s Former IT Man Convicted of Hacking Firm

DALLAS (CN) - A federal jury convicted a Dallas-based international law firm's former IT engineer of felony charges relating to the unauthorized break-in of the firm's computer network.

Anastasio Laoutaris, 40, was convicted Wednesday on two counts of knowingly accessing Locke Lord's computer network without authorization and intentionally issuing commands and codes that caused damage to the network. Laoutaris was immediately placed in the custody of federal marshals. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.

The verdict came after a week-long trial before U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle. Prosecutors told jurors that Laoutaris accessed the network on Dec. 1, 2011, and Dec. 5, 2011, and "issued instructions and commands that caused significant damage to the network, including deleting or disabling hundreds of user accounts, desktop and laptop accounts, and user e-mail accounts," according to a statement.

Locke Lord spokeswoman Julie Gilbert said client information was "never compromised" and that it is of "paramount importance" to the law firm.

"But of course we are pleased that law enforcement authorities and the jury took this criminal activity seriously and sent a message that conduct threatening the information technology of law firms and businesses will not be tolerated," Gilbert said Thursday morning. The law firm has approximately 1,000 lawyers in 19 domestic and four overseas offices. It was formed in 2007 with the combination of Dallas-based Locke Liddell & Sapp and Chicago-based Lord Bissell & Brook. The firm's name changed to Locke Lord in January 2015 after a merger with Boston-based Edwards Wildman Palmer.

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