IRS information technology employee Carl Sheerer faced up to a year in prison and more than $60,000.00 in restitution before a jury found in his favor.
Sheerer, a 38-year employee of the IRS, stored IRS personnel information on more than 20,000 employees and contractors on a USB flash drive and placed it on a computer server in his home.
The data breach was discovered by a private security firm which, in turn, alerted the IRS. Although six witnesses were called by the prosecutors who offered 75 exhibits during the two day trial, not one victim stepped forward. The jury deliberated for two hours before returning a not guilty verdict on the misdemeanor charges.
Sheerer’s attorney stated that the data breach was entirely inadvertent and questioned why the government brought these charges in the first place.
Do you think the jury should have found Mr. Sheerer guilty?
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