NEW YORK - A Florida woman was convicted of a spiteful attack on a computer system after she was fired by her employer.
Medghyne Calonge, 41, was found guilty of intentionally causing damage to a protected computer and accessing a protected computer, and recklessly causing damage.
Both counts relate to Calonge's deletion of thousands of human resources records of her former employer.
Calonge began to act out after she was terminated by a Manhattan-based online provider of professional services about six months after she was hired.
She was serving as the head of human resources in the unnamed company's St. Petersburg, Florida, office. According to prosecutors, Calonge was terminated on June 28, 2019, for "failing to meet the minimum requirements of her job after, among other things, she improperly downgraded a colleague’s access to a computer system following an argument with the colleague."
While she was being terminated and just before she was escorted from the building, Calonge was seen by two company employees "repeatedly hitting the delete key on her desktop computer."
Several hours later, she logged into a system the company used to receive and manage applications for employment with the company, which the company had invested two years and over $100,000 to build. During the next two days, she rampaged through the system, deleting over 17,000 job applications and resumes, and leaving messages with profanities inside the system.
Ultimately, Calonge completely destroyed all of the company's data in the system. It cost the company more than $100,000 to investigate and respond to the incident and to rebuild the computer system. To this day, the company has been unable to recover all of its data.
U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said, in a statement, "Her actions wiped out information vitally important to the employer company, and cost the company money and time to repair. Now Calonge awaits sentencing for her crimes."
The Tampa woman faces up to 10 years in prison when she is sentenced.