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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Boylston man guilty in business sabotage

BOYLSTON

A contractor pleaded guilty to sabotaging Navy computers that track locations of submarines and ships because his company didn't win another government contract.

Richard F. Sylvestre, 43, of Boylston, Mass., pleaded guilty in federal court in Virginia to one count of damaging protected computers. Sylvestre owns computer company Ares Systems International, which held a contract to provide computer maintenance for the Navy's European Planning and Operations Command Center in Naples, Italy.

Sylvestre told Navy criminal investigators that he programmed malicious software codes into computers at the European Command in May because he was upset that his company's bid on a project at the center was passed over, according to court records.

The sabotage could have caused Navy ships to collide with commercial vessels, but was caught after two computers crashed, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Sylvestre faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced Jan. 18.

-- AP

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