Ex-VP at Gwinnett health care company sentenced to federal prison

Credit: Chris Ryan

Credit: Chris Ryan

A Duluth man was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison after he was convicted of sabotaging his former employer and delaying shipments of medical supplies needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Christopher Dobbins, 41, pleaded guilty in July to reckless damage to a protected computer related to the hacking of electronic shipping records at Stradis Healthcare, a medical device packing company based in Gwinnett County. According to federal prosecutors, Dobbins deleted or edited thousands of records that impacted shipments of personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, gloves and gowns.

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He was fired from his post as vice president of finance in March after conflicts arose at the end of 2019. Three days after receiving his last paycheck, prosecutors said Dobbins used fake user accounts to access the company’s systems.

During the hack, more than 115,000 records were edited and about 2,300 were deleted. A spokesman for U.S. Attorney BJay Pak said those edits and deletions disrupted the company’s shipping processes, thus delaying the delivery of the equipment to health care providers during the height of the pandemic.

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The case against Dobbins was built with help from Georgia’s COVID-19 Fraud Task Force, which is aimed at opening channels of communication about fraud among state and federal agencies in Georgia.

Pak’s office announced his sentence Tuesday.

“As businesses worked to get PPE into the hands of those most in need of it, Dobbins chose to hack his former employer and maliciously interrupt that process,” Pak said in a statement. “His actions caused delays in the delivery of desperately needed equipment in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.”

In addition to prison time, Dobbins was ordered to pay $221,200 in restitution.