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Minnesota Man Charged in Bizarre Attempt to Extort MLB

Photo: Patrick McDermott

A Minnesota man is facing federal charges stemming from a plan to extort Major League Baseball for $150,000. Prosecutors said that Joshua Streit hacked the league's computer systems and then demanded money to keep quiet about the vulnerabilities.

He is also accused of illegally streaming sports games for profit. The U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of New York said that Streit's operation cost one sports league over $3 million in lost revenue.

"Joshua Streit is alleged to have illegally streamed sports content online from MLB, the NHL, the NBA, and the NFL for his own personal profit. Furthermore, Streit allegedly hacked MLB's computer systems and attempted to extort $150,000 from the league. Thanks to this Office's teamwork with all four major American sports leagues and the FBI, Streit has struck out on his illegal streaming and extortion scheme, "U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said.

Streit was charged with knowingly accessing a protected computer in furtherance of a criminal act and for purposes of commercial advantage and private financial gain, knowingly accessing a protected computer in furtherance of fraud, wire fraud, illicit digital transmission, and sending interstate threats with the intent to extort. If convicted on all charges, Streit faces a maximum sentence of 37 years in jail.

"We allege Mr. Brody hacked into the systems of several of our country's biggest professional sports leagues and illegally streamed copyrighted live games. Instead of quitting while he was ahead, he allegedly decided to continue the game by extorting one of the leagues, threatening to expose the very vulnerability he used to hack them. Now instead of scoring a payday, Mr. Brody faces the possibility of a federal prison sentence as a penalty," FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said.

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