Ex-Jockey Agent Charged with Hacking NYRA Computer System

Ex-Jockey Agent Charged with Hacking NYRA Computer System

By Forum Staff

A former horse jockey agent has been charged with illegally accessing the New York Racing Association’s computer system 170 times over a 15-month period by using the username and password of a NYRA employee whom he allegedly paid $100 a month for his log-in information, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico.

Manuel Gonzalez, 52, of Oceanport, N.J., was arraigned on Monday in Queens on a criminal complaint charging him with 170 counts of computer trespass and 170 counts of second-degree tampering with a sports contest.

According to the charges, NYRA maintains a computer system/database called InCompass which stores racetrack-related data, such as track conditions, thoroughbred statistics, thoroughbred health and injuries, thoroughbred availability and other restricted information. Access to the InCompass system is limited to only certain NYRA employees.

Gonzalez allegedly paid a NYRA employee $100 a month to unlawfully use the employee’s username and password to access InCompass on 170 different occasions between Jan. 2, 2014, and April 1, 2015.  Gonzalez allegedly used the system to review racing sheets and other data that provided him with information – including health and injuries of the racehorses and the identity of racehorses in need of a jockey – which he used to his own advantage to secure horses for his jockey.

“The defendant is accused of ‘hacking’ into the Racing Association’s computer system and illegally trolling for valuable racetrack-related data that he could use to his own advantage to secure horses for his jockey,” Brown said. “In today’s computerized world, cyber break-ins are a growing threat and will be dealt with in an appropriate manner when uncovered.”

The investigation, which is continuing, was conducted by the New York State Police.

“The State Police treat computer crimes like every other crime – those who break the law will be held accountable. Gaining unauthorized access to a computer network is a serious crime and we will work aggressively to solve each case,” D’Amico added. “I want to thank the Queens District Attorney and the New York Racing Association for their assistance in making this arrest.”

If convicted, Gonzalez faces up to four years in prison.


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