Computer Crime Research Center


Woman Accused In Unusual Computer Crime

Date: January 28, 2005
Source: Channel 3 News
By: Brian Joyce

A Burlington woman has became the first in Vermont to be charged with a bizarre computer crime.

The alleged high-tech caper involved identity theft, harassment, and an attempt to make a co-worker look like a lunatic,according to police.

"Yeah, I think, you know, people thought I was off my rocker for a while," said Jeanne Landau, the alleged victim. She says she was shocked and scared last fall when friends accused her of sending threatening e-mails to a co-worker.

"It was disappointment and fear certainly for a little while until I figured out who had actually been doing it," added Landau.

Police say the culprit is Bess Carney, 25, of Burlington.

At a Thursday court hearing in Burlington, Carney was charged with false reporting of a crime, identity theft, and unauthorized access to a computer.

Carney used computers at work in an attempt to harm Landau by e-mailing threats to herself, according to police reports.

First she opened a Yahoo e-mail account in Landau's name and then she mailed herself threats from that phony Landau account, say police.

"She was then forwarding these e-mails to mutual friends of the two parties and really making it look as though Jeanne Landau was responsible for this and that she was insane and very mentally unstable," said Sgt. Ken Tisdel, the Burlington Police detective in charge of the investigation.

"I don't know the motivation behind it unfortunately," said Landau.

"I think it might've started as a prank and then it spun out of control and I don't think she expected it to go this far," she added.

Carney pled innocent to the charges. She was released on conditions. She declined comment as she left the courthouse and let her lawyer, Edward Kenney, do the talking to the press.

"It's accurate that Bess has insisted on her innocence," said Kenney. "She pled not guilty today and I really can't get into the facts of the case at all at this point."

Kenney said he may challenge the legal basis for the charges and attempt to have them dismissed.

Police say this is the first computer case of its kind to be criminally charged, but more complaints are coming in. And to those who might think of doing the same thing, police warn that the culprits will be caught.

" Anything that you do on that computer no matter if you've deleted it or whatever you've done, we will recover that information and we will find out if you've done this," said Detective Sgt. Tisdel

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Discussion is closed - view comments archieve
2006-08-18 11:50:00 - Funny, I went to school with her too.... Memories
2006-08-15 14:36:47 - It was actually in grade school that she... Bess Foreva
2006-08-15 14:27:47 - A friend of mine has told me that she was... California Man
2006-04-07 15:13:27 - She grew up in Binghamton, NY and then... C3PO
2006-02-15 23:44:05 - I'm just curious.....I knew a Bess Carney... darth vadar
2005-05-09 20:40:41 - I'll speak on behalf of "Lynn". The... George Bush
2005-05-09 04:50:38 - Hey "Lynn":-) Thanks for the update. A... Former Friend of Bess
2005-05-07 03:40:39 - FYI, The crazy lady who stalked herself... Lynn Cheney
2005-03-04 21:20:16 - i know all parties involved. worked at... ryan wilson
2005-02-27 23:43:56 - I know! To think that Bess Carney had all... Laura Bush
Total 15 comments
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