Former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa was sentenced today for hacking into the Astros scouting and analytics database. He’s getting 46 months in prison.
Correa entered a guilty plea to U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes in Houston back in January. The maximum penalty on each of the five counts to which he pleaded was up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution, so he’s getting off relatively lightly. And make no mistake, no matter how many jokes people have made about the hacking scandal, violation of federal laws relating to computer fraud and abuse is some pretty serious legal business.
The hacking incident took place in 2014, but it was unknown that the employee of another team was involved until last year. Correa was relieved of his duties with the Cardinals last July, just prior to his arrest and indictment. When he pleaded guilty in January Correa said that he accessed the Astros database because he suspected the Astros were in possession of Cardinals proprietary information. The Astros denied that. It wouldn’t have mattered even if they did, however, as such facts would not have negated Correa’s own culpability.
Major League Baseball is expected to sanction the Cardinals, possibly by forcing it to forfeit draft picks, at some point in the near future.