Last Friday, Chris Correa, the former scouting director of the St. Louis Cardinals, pleaded guilty in federal court in Texas for unlawfully accessing the Houston Astros’ database, which included scouting and draft information.
Correa pleaded guilty to five counts of unauthorized access of a protected computer because he admitted that he accessed the database five times between 2013 and 2014. He faces up to five years in prison for each charge and will be sentenced on April 11th. Prosecutors have reportedly already agreed to allow him to serve counts consecutively.
Correa admitted to using the passwords of former Cardinals employees who had moved to the Astros to access the scouting database, dubbed “Ground Control.” The database included contract information, scouting reports and other proprietary information about the players. He allegedly viewed 118 pages of information, including details about trades, draft rankings and draft strategy. He accepted responsibility and admitted that he “trespassed repeatedly.” He called his behavior “stupid.”
The Astros allege that the hacking cost it $1.7 million. The hacking was first reported in June of 2014 when it was discovered that some of the material was posted online.
Correa was fired by the Cardinals and the case is the first known case of sports espionage. Cub fans have been quick to point out that the Cardinals completed the 2015 season with the best record in MLB.