US Lawyer Resorted to Cyberattack to Intimidate Critics, Pleads Guilty
- Bradley Pistotnik, the accused attorney, pleaded guilty to three counts including computer fraud, conspiracy, and making false statements to the FBI.
- The co-defendant David Dorsett has a change-of-plea hearing set for Monday.
A well-known Wichita attorney, Bradley A. Pistotnik, pleaded guilty to being involved in a cyberattack on websites that criticized the attorney's work. The personal injury attorney was indicted for the crime last year.
What the story?
Bradley Pistotnik, 63, along with his colleague David Dorsett, had launched a series of cyberattacks on Leagle.com, JaburgWilk.com, and Ripoffreport.com, whereby Dorsett filled the website's inboxes with threats.
An email from them read "remove this page and we stop," and "if you don't remove it we will begin targeting your advertisers and explain that this will stop happening to them once they pull their ads from leagle.com or if leagle.com kills this page."
As per reports, the duo straightaway demanded information reflecting Pistotnik's legal work in a negative way be removed from the web.
What happened inside the court?
Pistotnik, who is also a software engineer, admitted to his mistake and pleaded guilty to three counts—computer fraud, conspiracy and making false statements to the FBI.
"I feel bad about what’s taken place. I made a mistake," Pistotnik said in the court. "I feel horrible about it and it won’t happen again. I’m trying to take responsibility."
- In his plea, Pistotnik confessed to being approached by attorneys from the legal firm Jaburg Wilk and Ripoff Report regarding the cyberattacks. He repeatedly denied having any knowledge of the attacks.
- He was ordered to pay a $375,000 fine and restitution of $55,200.
- Dorsett, who is the co-founder of VIRAL Artificial Intelligence, has a change-of-plea hearing set for Monday.
Comments and Applaud
"This was an unfortunate thing, he got involved with a person that was a bad character," said Pistotnik's lawyer Mark Schoenhofer. "Brad has learned from this and Brad will move on," he added.
U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister commended the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart for their work on the case.