A former executive of a Georgia-based medical packaging company has been charged with sabotaging electronic shipping records, which federal investigators claim delayed the delivery of critical personal protective equipment, including masks, gloves and gowns, to healthcare providers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Department of Justice charged Christopher Dobbins, 40, of Duluth, Georgia, with allegedly hacking into his former company’s computer system, editing and deleting shipping records, which disrupted the shipping process of crucial medical supplies to healthcare providers.
Dobbins was hired as the vice president of finance of Stradis Healthcare, headquartered in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, in August 2016. The company specializes in custom surgical packs and medical kits for the healthcare industry, according to its website.
While employed at Stradis, Dobbins had administrator access to the computer systems containing the company’s shipping information, according to federal investigators.
In early March 2020, Dobbins was fired from Stradis and his access to the company’s computer systems was disabled, federal prosecutors stated in a press release. He received his final paycheck on March 26. Three days later, the FBI claims Dobbins logged into the company’s computer system using a fake user account he previously created while still working for Stradis.
Federal officials claim he then edited more than 115,000 shipping records and deleted nearly 2,400 records.
Stradis executives notified the FBI on April 7 after discovering the disruption of its shipping processes of PPE equipment headed to hospitals.
“The FBI is making it a priority during the worldwide pandemic to make sure crucial supplies are not being disrupted or diverted from the front lines of medical care,” said Chris Hacker, special agent in charge of the FBI office in Atlanta. “We are grateful to the medical packaging company for promptly reporting this disruption to their delivery of important medical supplies, so that we could react quickly.”
The criminal complaint against Dobbins was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on April 15. He was released on a $25,000 bond on Thursday following his court appearance.
“This defendant allegedly disrupted the delivery of personal protective equipment in the middle of a global pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Scarce medical supplies should go to the healthcare workers and hospitals that need them during the pandemic. The Department of Justice is dedicated to moving quickly on cases like this to bring criminal opportunists to justice and protect the public during these challenging times.”
This is a developing story