CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former network engineer who shut down an oil and gas company's computer network and phone system for a month last year has been indicted on federal charges, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Wednesday.
The deletion of phone system accounts and accounting data cost Charleston-based EnerVest Operating LLC about $1 million in losses, Goodwin said.
The company was unable to fully communicate or conduct business from June 26 to July 27, 2012.
Ricky Joe Mitchell, 34, of Mableton, was indicted by a grand jury in Charleston on Tuesday on charges he recklessly damaged a protected computer.
Mitchell doesn't have a telephone listing and it wasn't immediately clear whether he has an attorney.
The indictment says Mitchell knowingly erased backup information on a protected computer, then disabled a data-replication system designed to send that backup data to Houston, Texas.
Goodwin's office said that Mitchell was a disgruntled employee.
The indictment notes that Mitchell worked for EnerVest from August 2009 until the day of the computer damage.
He faces up to 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine if convicted.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.