Woman Accused In Unusual Computer Crime

R.A. Hettinga rah at shipwright.com
Sat Jan 29 18:49:40 PST 2005



Woman Accused In Unusual Computer Crime

Burlington, Vermont -- January 27, 2005

A Burlington woman has became the first in Vermont to be charged with a
bizarre computer crime.

 The alleged high-tech caper involved identity theft, harassment, and an
attempt to make a co-worker look like a lunatic,according to police.

 "Yeah, I think, you know, people thought I was off my rocker for a while,"
said Jeanne Landau, the alleged victim. She says she was shocked and scared
last fall when friends accused her of sending threatening e-mails to a

 "It was disappointment and fear certainly for a little while until I
figured out who had actually been doing it," added Landau.

Police say the culprit is Bess Carney, 25, of Burlington.

 At a Thursday court hearing in Burlington, Carney was charged with false
reporting of a crime, identity theft, and unauthorized access to a computer.

 Carney used computers at work in an attempt to harm Landau by e-mailing
threats to herself, according to police reports.

 First she opened a Yahoo e-mail account in Landau's name and then she
mailed herself threats from that phony Landau account, say police.

 "She was then forwarding these e-mails to mutual friends of the two
parties and really making it look as though Jeanne Landau was responsible
for this and that she was insane and very mentally unstable," said Sgt. Ken
Tisdel, the Burlington Police detective in charge of the investigation.

 "I don't know the motivation behind it unfortunately," said Landau.

 "I think it might've started as a prank and then it spun out of control
and I don't think she expected it to go this far," she added.

Carney pled innocent to the charges. She was released on conditions. She
declined comment as she left the courthouse and let her lawyer, Edward
Kenney, do the talking to the press.

 "It's accurate that Bess has insisted on her innocence," said Kenney. "She
pled not guilty today and I really can't get into the facts of the case at
all at this point."

Kenney said he may challenge the legal basis for the charges and attempt to
have them dismissed.

 Police say this is the first computer case of its kind to be criminally
charged, but more complaints are coming in. And to those who might think of
doing the same thing, police warn that the culprits will be caught.

" Anything that you do on that computer no matter if you've deleted it or
whatever you've done, we will recover that information and we will find out
if you've done this," said Detective Sgt. Tisdel

R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at ibuc.com>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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