Commentary by San Diego Criminal Defense Layer Sam Spital:
“UT San Diego online edition on February 11, 2013 reported a former candidate for student body President, Matthew Weaver was arrested by the FBI for suspicion of wire fraud, a related charge and unauthorized use of a computer. The article revealed that user identities and passwords of approximately 700 students were stolen by the computer hacker to alter results of the student election to allegedly benefit himself and fraternity brothers, which is the method votes are cast by students. Although not reported in the article, these positions are paid by the school and had the particular candidates in question been elected they would have been able to make a combined $36,000 from stipends.
Last year, Cal State San Marcus University Police arrested the suspect when they discovered him at a school computer in possession of a device known to be used to steal computer passwords, however, he was not charged at the time with any criminal offense. Weaver now faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted of the charges filed in the pending federal complaint. The sad reality is the defendant clearly did not consider the unintended consequences of his apparent desire for power. Now, his future career aspirations and professional goals will be marked by the charges if proven and/or he decides to enter into a plea deal if offered. Here is where the defendant needs truly competent defense counsel to marginalize the allegations; it is also very important to remember the suspect is innocent until proven guilty by evidence beyond reasonable doubt.”
— Sam Spital