Hacker to pay Weekly $27K in restitution | June 14, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - June 14, 2019

Hacker to pay Weekly $27K in restitution

Ross Colby claims he committed crime at the request of a convicted felon, Hiruy Amanuel

by Sue Dremann

The 36-year-old man who hacked and temporarily shut down Palo Alto Online and other Embarcadero Media websites nearly four years ago was sentenced Wednesday in San Jose federal court to time already served, one-year of home incarceration with electronic monitoring, three years of supervised release and $27,130 in restitution to the company.

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Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at sdremann@paweekly.com.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 12, 2019 at 5:33 pm

What is the PTSD from? Is he a military veteran?


Like this comment
Posted by Sue Dremann
Palo Alto Weekly staff writer
on Jun 12, 2019 at 6:39 pm

Sue Dremann is a registered user.

The exact cause of his PTSD was not specified in court. As far as we know, he was never identified as a veteran.


4 people like this
Posted by Duh
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 12, 2019 at 6:48 pm

"She cited Colby's brain injury from a motorcycle accident" = PTSD


11 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 12, 2019 at 6:51 pm

> What is the PTSD from? Is he a military veteran?

> The exact cause of his PTSD was not specified in court. As far as we know, he was never identified as a veteran.

Can one acquire PTSD without ever having served in the military?

I knew someone once who had periodic anxiety attacks whenever he heard thunder but to my knowledge, he was never active in the armed forces.

He said they were cannons in the rain.




4 people like this
Posted by Les
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 12, 2019 at 7:53 pm

“In sentencing Colby to no additional prison time, Koh said she was persuaded that additional incarceration would serve little purpose. . .”

How about plain old punishment?


Like this comment
Posted by Kenny
a resident of University South
on Jun 12, 2019 at 10:00 pm

"What is the PTSD from?"

Maybe airplane noise?


2 people like this
Posted by PTSD
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 12, 2019 at 11:38 pm

It's from the motorcycle crash....Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.


4 people like this
Posted by Other PTSD Causes
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2019 at 8:53 am

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Reader
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2019 at 9:43 am

Correction:

The title says: "$27K in restitution ordered for man who hacked Palo Alto Online"

So, while one usually does say: "Fines [punishment] ordered for [perpetrator]..." or "Community service ordered for [perpetrator]...", it's awkward using the word "restitution" as the punishment, because "restitution for [an entity]" usually means restitution for the entity mentioned, not FROM the entity. The double meaning is that the court ordered restitution for HIM because of a miscarriage of justice in the process, for example, which is not what the title is supposed to mean.

I had to do a double-take, thinking the court ordered someone to pay the perp something ---

Perhaps a little word-smithing on the title might be in order...


4 people like this
Posted by Sentencing discrepancy??
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2019 at 10:59 am

Wait... this guy gets one year home incarceration, 3 years monitoring, + a $27k fine and the sailing team coach at Stanford who made off with $800k in bribes in the admissions scandal gets only a $10k fine?? What?


2 people like this
Posted by YSK
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 13, 2019 at 11:24 am

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Let's double the take
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2019 at 2:42 pm

How much is democracy worth to you? Do you support our local community? If those answers are yes, then let's double the 27k with donations from our loyal readers, otherwise we will have a hard time giving away our product for free. Donate now


1 person likes this
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2019 at 3:25 pm

"Can one acquire PTSD without ever having served in the military?"

Yes, via rape.

Moreover, some rape victims suffer from more severe PTSD than that suffered by frontline veterans.


Like this comment
Posted by PTSD
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2019 at 3:59 pm

Lots of things can cause PTSD, and unfortunately since it's so hard for people to acknowledge and get help in the military, which is bad enough, people think their problems must be less by comparison.

Sexual assault can cause PTSD. Organizational abuse can cause PTSD. Any serious trauma or abuse. Remember Harvey Weinstein's victims reported him hiring people to insinuate themselves into her life in order to spy on and manipulate her? That can destroy someone's trust in the world forever.

The dirty secret is that insurance companies do that kind of stuff to people all the time, they're probably going to permanently mess up some poor people who lost everything in the Paradise fires if they haven't already. They might surveil someone, even make very clear to the person they are being watched, or they might try to get them to answer a supposedly random survey about an unrelated issue. They might even get a seat on a plane right next to some poor person who had to sue to get their coverage, and chat them up. Or jury tamper (spend some time reading the court cases that result from just the situations people discover, where the insurance company had someone go into an elevator to tamper with a jury when some poor person who lost a loved one or everything in a disaster had to sue to get their coverage -- those are just the ones people discover and feel they can even sue after all that). The point is, after living through a traumatic situation already, insurance companies do exactly what Weinstein's lawyer did to his victim, revictimize them in a way that isolates them and makes them feel they can't trust anyone. I don't know if anyone ever gets over that (it ought to be SO illegal and punishable by jail and huge restitution fines, but...)

PTSD can happen because of serious accidents, near death incidents, any serious trauma, really. The sad part is that people just don't know they deserve help if it wasn't something we all know from the news, like war.


Like this comment
Posted by Expatriate Dreamer
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 13, 2019 at 8:47 pm

> Organizational abuse can cause PTSD.

Can this occur from a hostile work environment as well? I would like to take some time off if this is a viable reason. I have bad dreams about work and perhaps a sabbatical would be of benefit. I was thinking of maybe renting a small cottage in France along the coast and living there for awhile.

Can you sue your employer for causing PTSD?


2 people like this
Posted by Justice
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 25, 2019 at 9:17 am

They should DEFINITELY look into Hiruy Amanuel's involvement. if he PAID this guy to commit a crime, why is the FBI not charging him with a crime? If Colby was not paid, the crime would never have been committed. Dig deeper into this guy.


4 people like this
Posted by Makes No Sense
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 15, 2019 at 5:39 pm

"For each felony, he faced a fine of up to $250,000, a prison term not to exceed 10 years, or both, and a maximum of one year in prison and up to $100,000 in fines for each misdemeanor."

He had two felonies and he got off with only "time already served, one-year of home incarceration with electronic monitoring, three years of supervised release and $27,130 in restitution to the company."

Where is the prison term? That would be punishment, no computer. This guy will have a blast in home monitoring being home on the computer! That is what he enjoys.

Shouldn't they sentence closer to the estimates? I think I read that Felicity Huffman in the college scam faced up to 20 years but she got 4 months.

Lawyers, enlighten us. I'm guessing there isn't enough room in our prisons.


1 person likes this
Posted by Too Much Punishment
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 15, 2019 at 11:23 pm

Too much restitution.


Like this comment
Posted by JUROR
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 31, 2019 at 6:07 pm

I served on the jury for this case. Much of what I'm reading from this news story was never brought out in court.

Glad we did the right thing and found the defendant guilty.

I'd say Ross Colby got off with a light sentence.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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