St. Louis Cardinals Scout to Spend Four Years in Jail for Hacking Houston Astros
A judge sentenced Chris Correa, former scouting director for the Saint Louis Cardinals MLB baseball team, to four years behind bars for breaking into the private database of the Houston Astros.
FBI started an investigation into this incident in August 2015. Correa, whose name wasn’t initially mentioned, pleaded guilty to all charges, according to a plea agreement signed on January 8, 2016.
Chris Correa’s role in this entire incident goes back to 2013, two years after Jeff Luhnow, head of the Cardinals’ scouting and player development department, left the team to be the Houston Astros’ new General Manager.
Correa hacked the Astros Ground Control player database
While he was with the Cardinals, Luhnow built a database called Red Bird, which he used to manage player personnel movement, statistics, reports, and other operations.
Once with the Astros, Luhnow did the same thing and created Ground Control, a carbon copy of the Red Bird database.
In 2013, Correa stumbled upon a list of passwords that Lunhow used for the Red Bird database. He proceeded to identify the Ground Control database and then tried and successfully authenticated with Luhnow’s older passwords.
Correa stole crucial information from the Astros database
According to the FBI, Correa stole data from the Astros database, such as player rankings for the upcoming MLB Draft, player reports for the upcoming Draft, draft boards for the 2013 and 2014 MLB Draft, proposed player contract offers, reports for college top-performing players, notes on Astros trade discussions, Astros player reports, and more.
He accessed the database over 60 times from March 2013 to March 2014. The Astros organization claims that the Cardinals used data stolen by Correa to draft players they also wanted to draft.
For his crimes, Correa faced five years in jail for each of the five counts of hacking he was accused of. He received 46 months in prison and must pay $279,038 to the Astros.