COLUMBUS--Donald Christopher Dailey, 37, of Delaware, Ohio, pleaded guilty in federal court today to extortion for demanding money from the company where he was the information technology administrator in exchange for not disclosing internal financial and other information, according to law enforcement officials.
Dailey also admitted to hacking into an ex-girlfriend's e-mail account, federal officials state.
Court records indicate that Dailey abruptly resigned from the engineering company where he worked on October 1, 2012.
Employees found a laptop connected to the company network and streaming live e-mail of the company's CEO. The laptop was in Dailey's private and secure workroom, according to federal authorities.
Dailey sent a letter to the CEO claiming that he had knowledge of what he alleged was damaging financial and other information about the company's internal communication that he would disclose to authorities and certain customers unless the CEO and his business partner sat down and talked with him, stated federal officials.
On October 13, officials stated Dailey called the CEO and made an opening demand of 75 percent of the $92,500 expected salary if he had stayed with the company.
FBI agents arrested Dailey on October 16 and searched his residence.
An analysis of Dailey's computer revealed that he had gathered personal information about the company's employees, including everyone's names and salaries, and had stored the data on his personal computer, according to authorities.
The alleged documents or information referenced by Dailey as part of the extortion were not found, officials stated.
Officials state that Dailey also admitted illegally accessing an ex-girlfriend's e-mail and bank accounts from a computer at the engineering company where he worked before he resigned.
Dailey is facing up to two years for extortion and a year for illegally accessing a computer without authorization, federal officials state.