Diana Lebeau Pleads Guilty to Phishing Scheme
August 2, 2021
A Rhode Island woman pleaded guilty today to sending phishing
emails to candidates for political office and others.
Diana Lebeau, 21, of Cranston, R.I., pleaded guilty to one count of attempted
unauthorized access to a protected computer. U.S. District Court Magistrate
Judge Jennifer C. Boal scheduled sentencing for Oct. 26, 2021. Lebeau was
charged on May 27, 2021.
In or about January 2020, Lebeau sent phishing emails to approximately 22
members of the campaign staff of a candidate for political office. The emails,
which purported to be from either the campaign’s managers or one of the
campaign’s co-chairs, directed the recipients to put their account credentials
into an attached spreadsheet, or to click a link that connected them to a Google
Form that solicited the same credentials. Lebeau also sent several phishing
emails to the candidate’s spouse and to others at the spouse’s workplace. The
emails, which purported to be either from Microsoft’s “Security Team” or from an
employee of the workplace’s technology helpdesk, requested that recipients
provide account credentials or other information about their computers by adding
it to attached spreadsheets or on a website that mimicked the appearance of the
employer’s legitimate website.
or about March 2020, Lebeau drafted and sent phishing emails targeting another
candidate for political office. The emails, which purported to be from the
candidate’s cable and internet provider, contained a false “login link” that the
recipient could use to address an issue with his or her account by providing
account credentials. Lebeau also impersonated this candidate in online chats
with the cable and internet provider, in an attempt to reset and obtain the
candidate’s account password.
Lebeau did not act with financial or political motive or to benefit any foreign
government, instrumentality, or agent.
The charge of attempted access without authorization to a protected computer
provides for a sentence of up to one year in prison, one year of supervised
release, a fine of up to $100,000 and forfeiture. Sentences are imposed by a
federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Joseph R. Bonavolonta,
Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division
made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth B. Kosto, Deputy Chief
of Mendell’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit, is prosecuting the case.