NEW YORK – A Minnesota man was charged Thursday with attempting to extort $ 150,000 from MLB while illegally streaming copyrighted content from major professional sports leagues online.
Joshua Streit, 30, of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, has been indicted in a criminal complaint filed in Manhattan federal court for extortion, accessing a secure computer to commit personal fraud, wire fraud and transmission illegal digital.
It was not immediately clear who will represent him in an initial appearance in federal court in Minnesota.
Federal authorities say Streit hacked into MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL computer systems to stream copyright-protected live games before trying to extort $ 150,000 to MLB by threatening to expose alleged vulnerabilities in MLB’s internet infrastructure.
Michael J. Driscoll, head of the FBI’s New York bureau, said in a statement that Streit – also known as Josh Brody – “hacked the systems of several of our nation’s biggest professional sports leagues and broadcast unlawfully copyrighted live games ”.
“Instead of stopping when he was in the lead, he allegedly decided to continue the game by extorting one of the leagues, threatening to expose the very vulnerability he used to hack them,” Driscoll said.
He added: “Puns are written in this investigation, and now, instead of earning a salary, Mr. Brody faces a federal prison sentence as a sanction.”
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said the four sports leagues facilitated the investigation into Streit’s activities, which spanned from 2017 to August, with one of the leagues claiming to have lost around $ 3 million from streaming.
“Streit has ended his illegal streaming and extortion program,” Williams said.
Authorities said Streit used the login details of legitimate sports league website users to access live streams which he then broadcast on a website he operated.