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CASE ENTRY

United States v. Koutsostamatis

Economist for BP breaks bad, pretends to be a hacker who has stolen sensitive data, and demands 125 bitcoins in ransom (then approximately $340k). BP contacts the FBI and, with help from BP’s 44-member digital-security team, identifies the culprit, who is sentenced to 27 months in prison. Is he also liable for BP’s $552k in investigatory expenses? Fifth Circuit: Maybe in tort, but not under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act’s residual clause, which deals with the sort of expenses incurred while missing work. “Think about it: The costs of a babysitter, a tank of gas, a parking meter—and a 44-person digital security team. One of these things is not like the others.”


Tags: 2020, FBI, Fifth Circuit, Tort Law

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