Man who stole students’ identities so he could rig college campus elections sentenced to year in prison
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A man who admitted stealing the identities and
passwords of more than 700 fellow students at Cal State San Marcos so he could
rig campus elections was sentenced Monday to a year in federal prison.
Matthew Weaver, 22, pleaded guilty in federal court in March to wire
fraud, access device fraud and unauthorized use of a computer.
In March 2012, Weaver was one of two Cal State San Marcos students
running for student body president. According to court documents, Weaver used a
small electronic device that records a computer user's keystrokes to steal 745
He admitted to casting about 480 votes for himself and friends, who were
also on the ballot, vying for other offices.
After his arrest, Weaver used “phenomenally bad judgment” by trying to
cover up the crime by hacking different online accounts and making it seem
like others were to blame, said U.S. District Judge Larry Burns.
“I think this is a serious offense,” the judge said, calling the crime
Burns said the defendant “doubled down” after he was caught, hacking
into accounts and posting messages on Facebook that the arrest had “ruined Mr.
The defendant's cover up indicated that there was a “little bit of Dr.
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in him,” the judge said, calling the defendant's hacking
into students' accounts a “gross breach of privacy.”
Weaver's computer crimes must make people wonder, “If a college kid can
do this, who else can?” Burns said.
Defense attorney John Kirby said Weaver “screwed himself” by
committing a felony, making it difficult to get a job in the future.
“This was an out-of-character, stupid mistake that he made,” Kirby
told the judge.
Weaver apologized for his actions before his sentence was announced.
“My behavior was childish, arrogant and foolish,” the defendant told
the court. “I don't know what I was thinking.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sabrina Feve said Weaver acted like an
“entitled” young man who put “hours and hours and hours” of planning into