LOS ANGELES – A Manchester, New Hampshire man was sentenced yesterday afternoon oneight felony counts related to a website where he posted thousands of Social
Security Numbers and other personal information belonging to employees of Global
Crossing, as well as threats to injure or kill.
William Sutcliffe, 42, was sentenced to 46 months in prison for three counts of
making interstate threats to injure or kill and five counts of transferring Social
Security Numbers with the intent to aid and abet another felony. Sentence was
imposed by United States District Judge A. Howard Matz, who also placed conditions
on Sutcliffe restricting his access to computers after his release from prison, as
well as limiting his communications with victims of his threats and witnesses at
his trial. Judge Matz addressed Sutcliffe before imposing a sentence at the upper
end of the applicable Sentencing Guideline range, telling him that “if there were a
crime that consisted of arrogance,” Judge Matz would depart upward for it, and
calling certain aspects of Sutcliffe’s defense “a joke.”
During a four-week trial that ended on December 4, 2003, with guilty verdicts on
eight counts , the federal court jury that convicted Sutcliffe heard evidence that
he was employed by Global Crossing as a computer technician until September 2001,
when he was fired by the communications company. Soon after his termination,
Sutcliffe established a website – EvilGX.com – the name of which referenced Global
Crossing’s stock symbol. Sutcliffe also picketed outside Global Crossing’s Beverly
Hills offices and held a sign referring people to his website.
The website contained personal information about many Global Crossing employees. In
addition to Social Security Numbers, the website had phone numbers, home addresses,
dates of birth and other data. The website also contained threats to similarly
publish even more information about additional employees, and links to other
websites that discussed the ease with which identity fraud could be committed by an
individual with the required personal information of another, such as birthdate and
social security number.
The five counts of transferring Social Security Numbers relate to thousands of SSNs
that Sutcliffe posted on his website. The jury in this case was told that Sutcliffe
posted the SSNs of as many as 8,000 Global Crossing employees at any given time.
As employees realized their personal information was being made public, Global
Crossing filed a lawsuit and obtained a temporary restraining order directing
Sutcliffe not to publicize information he obtained while he was a Global Crossing
employee. After a process server attempted to deliver a copy of the TRO to him,
Sutcliffe posted a threat to kill the process server on EvilGX.com. Sutcliffe also
threatened Global Crossing’s assistant general counsel on the website.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.