Pistotnik pleads guilty in cyberattack case

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita lawyer has pleaded guilty in connection to a cyberattack plot targeting websites that were critical of his work.

Attorney Bradley Pistotnik entered the new plea in federal court Tuesday morning to three counts of accessory after the fact, a misdemeanor.

The plea includes Pistotnik agreeing to pay a $375,000 fine and $55,200 in restitution. The judge did not give him prison time or probation.

“I feel bad about what’s happened,” Pistotnik told the judge. “I made a mistake. I feel horrible about it. It won’t happen again. I’m trying to take responsibility for it.”

His co-defendant, VIRAL Artificial Intelligence co-founder David Dorsett, is also expected to change his plea. Dorsett’s hearing is Oct. 21.

Both men pleaded not guilty last year to computer fraud and conspiracy. Pistotnik was also charged with making false statements to the FBI.

The original indictment alleged they were responsible for cyberattacks on Leagle.com, Ripoffreport.com and JaburgWilk.com in 2014 and 2015. The indictment accused Dorsett of filling website inboxes with threats. An email purportedly demanded that a webpage be removed or the hackers will target advertisers.

Mark T. Schoenhofer, Attorney for Mr. Pistotnik, released this statement to the media:

The U.S. Government dismissed all ten felonies listed in the original indictment against lawyer Brad Pistotnik in exchange for pleas to three misdemeanor “accessory after the fact” charges. Mr. Pistotnik entered into a plea agreement whereby the government sought no prison time, no probation and Mr. Pistotnik would pay fines of $375,000.00 plus court costs and restitution. The U.S. District Court accepted the plea deal. Mr. Pistotnik has paid his fines and restitution, and he is now done with this chapter of his life. He looks forward to continuing to assist Kansans who have been injured in serious accidents.

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