A Minnesota man was sentenced to three years in prison on Thursday for illegally streaming major league sports content to outside third parties. Joshua Streit, also known as Joshua Brody, was arrested in 2021 after an investigation found he had hacked into a Major League Baseball system and attempted to extort $150,000 from the organization.
According to the filing, after hacking the Major League Baseball database and communicating with employees, “Streit claimed he knew MLB reporters who were “interested in the story,” and stated that it would be bad if the vulnerability were exposed and MLB was embarrassed.” Federal authorities found that Streit had accessed the computers without authorization and obtained the login credentials for “commercial advantage and private financial gain,” according to a 2021 court filing.
Following Streit’s arrest, FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said in a DOJ press release, “We allege Mr. Brody hacked into the systems of several of our country’s biggest professional sports leagues and illegally streamed copyrighted live games.”
“Instead of quitting while he was ahead, he allegedly decided to continue the game by extorting one of the leagues, threatening to expose the very vulnerability he used to hack them. Now instead of scoring a payday, Mr. Brody faces the possibility of a federal prison sentence as a penalty.”
Authorities charged Streit with illegally streaming content from the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB for profit, and accused him of causing a sustained loss of roughly $3 million for the sports leagues.
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Streit is accused of streamed the content illegally from 2017 through August 2021 by misappropriating users’ login credentials via the streaming websites. The initial charges included wire fraud, illegally hacking into a computer for the purposes of fraud, and sending interstate threats with the intent to extort. Each charge carries a sentence of two to 20 years in prison.
Streit received an additional sentence of three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay more than $2.9 million in restitution and $500,000 in forfeiture, according to a Department of Justice press release.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams praised the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their help with the case and thanked the MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL, for their assistance. Williams said in the release, “Joshua Streit intruded into MLB computer networks and illegally streamed sports content online from MLB, the NHL, the NBA, and the NFL for his own personal profit.”
He continued, “Today’s sentence shows that this crime is no game. Those who compromise computer networks and steal copyrighted content will be held accountable.”