COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Ammie Brothers, 29, of Columbus, Ga., a sergeant in the U.S. Army, pleaded guilty Thursday to unlawfully obtaining personal information from the U.S. Army's Army Knowledge Online computer system.
The guilty plea was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department's Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil H. MacBride; U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia Michael J. Moore; and Director Daniel T. Andrews of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command's Computer Crime Investigative Unit.
Brothers pleaded guilty before U. S. District Judge Clay Land in Columbus, Ga., to one count of unauthorized access to information from a U.S. Army computer system. She was charged on Feb. 14, 2013, in a five-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va.
In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Brothers admitted that between April 24, 2009, and Oct. 5, 2011, she repeatedly and intentionally accessed two victims' Army Knowledge Online accounts, which contain personnel files for members of the armed services. Brothers initially gained access by calling the Army Knowledge Online help desk in the Eastern District of Virginia and providing the victims' Social Security numbers and dates of birth in order to obtain temporary passwords.
When law enforcement searched Brothers's home in Columbus, they recovered numerous documents printed from the Army Knowledge Online system that contained victims' Social Security numbers, bank account numbers and employment history, including the Social Security number of one minor child. Brothers admitted to law enforcement that, in addition to illegally accessing the victims' Army Knowledge Online accounts, she regularly harassed the victims by telephone and accessed several credit card accounts belonging to one victim, and in one case authorized charges without the victim's knowledge or consent.
At sentencing, scheduled for Oct. 24, 2013, Brothers faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
This case was investigated by the Computer Crime Investigative Unit of U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Peter V. Roman of the Justice Department's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsay Kelly of the Eastern District of Virginia and Assistant U.S. Attorney Crawford L. Seals of the Middle District of Georgia.