A former employee of Durham business software company Smart Online has pleaded guilty to a single felony count of sending damaging computer code to his former employer, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday.
Nikhil Nilesh Shah, 33, of Union, N.J., pleaded guilty before federal Magistrate Judge Robert T. Numbers II in Raleigh and is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 8.
The maximum term of imprisonment for the felony Shah has been charged with is 10 years.
Shah was an information technology manager at Smart Online from 2007 to March 2012, when he left to work for another technology company, according to the indictment.
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In the plea agreement, Shah admitted to knowingly transmitting computer code “with the intent to damage” Smart Online on June 28, 2012, causing at least $5,000 in damage.
Shah sent malicious code to Smart Online’s servers in Durham and Raleigh, deleting much of the company’s intellectual property, according to the indictment.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s office in Raleigh and prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.
Smart Online has a mobile development platform called MobileSmith that allows businesses to launch and manage custom smartphone apps.