1995-11-28 -- LaScala, Dominick -- Complaint -- News Release
Monmouth University student charged with
sending approximately 24,000 computer e-mail "bombs"
NEWARK -- A 21-year-old Monmouth University student from
Bethpage, New York -- allegedly disgruntled after his university
computer privileges had been revoked -- was charged today with
allegedly sending an "E-mail Bomb" on Nov. 20, 1995 consisting of
24,000 unsolicited electronic messages which crashed the
university's computer e-mail system, U.S. Attorney Faith S.
The alleged e-mail (electronic mail) bomb consisted of thousands
of electronic mail messages, essentially electronic junk mail,
which were sent via the Internet to two university officials,
Dominick S. LaScala (DOB 1974-08-14), of 7 Shelly La., Bethpage,
was charged today in a two-count federal Complaint with violating
the Federal computer fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(5).
Count One, which charges LaScala with intentionally sending the
"E-Mail Bomb," carries a maximum of five years in federal prison
and a $250,000 fine, upon conviction.
Count Two, charging LaScala with recklessly doing the same thing,
carries a maximum penalty of one year in federal prison and a
$100,000 fine, upon conviction, according to Assistant U.S.
Attorney Donald S. Davidson.
Under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, the judge to whom this case is
assigned would, upon conviction, determine the actual sentence
based upon a formula that takes into account the severity and
characteristics of the offense, and the defendant's criminal
history, if any, Hochberg said.
Parole, however, has been abolished in the federal system. Under
Sentencing Guidelines, defendants that are given custodial terms
must serve nearly all that time, Hochberg explained.
LaScala surrendered for an initial appearance this afternoon
before U.S. Magistrate Judge G. Donald Haneke in Newark Federal
Court, who set Dec. 18th at 11 A.M. for a preliminary hearing.
LaScala was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.
Judge Haneke restricted LaScala's travel to New York and New
Jersey and also required him to surrender his passport. Judge
Haneke also prohibited LaScala from accessing or using any on-
line computer services, according to Davidson.
In the early morning hours of Nov. 20, 1995, LaScala used the
Internet to cause the approximately 24,000 unsolicited e-mail
messages to inundate the e-mail addresses of the two unnamed
Monmouth University officials. This massive data inflow caused
the university's e-mail system to crash. It took university
personnel approximately 44 hours, at a cost of approximately
$4,400, to repair the damage and trace the origins of the e-mail,
the attachment to the Complaint states.
Authorities traced the e-mail through Internet accounts in two
different states, back to an Internet access account maintained
by a fellow student who is LaScala's friend and business partner.
When confronted, the friend admitted that LaScala had used the
friend's Internet access account to launch the e-mail attack,
according to the Complaint.
Several days earlier, the university had terminated LaScala's
computer privileges on the basis of misuse, the attachment
In a felony Complaint, charges are lodged in a sworn statement
made before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. Under district court rules,
a preliminary hearing on the Complaint must be held within 20
days of a defendant's initial appearance, unless the defendant
waives a preliminary hearing or an Indictment is returned.
The charges are only allegations and must be proven at trial.
Every defendant charged in a federal Complaint is presumed
innocent unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt
in a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights
guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and federal law, Hochberg
Hochberg credited Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, under the direction of Barry Mawn, special agent
in charge of the FBI's Newark Office; and the staff of Monmouth
University under the direction of Joseph A. LaGaipa, director of
computer services, with developing the case against LaScala.
The Government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney
Davidson, deputy chief of the U.S. Attorney's Criminal Division
LaScala, Dominick -- Complaint
News Release -- 1995-11-28
U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey
Faith S. Hochberg, United States Attorney
970 Broad Street, Seventh Floor
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Main Office Number: 201-645-2700
Public Affairs Office: 201-645-2888
Dick Lavinthal: Spokesman and Public Affairs Specialist
Archived News Releases/Documents: http://www.usdoj.gov/press/html
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