Hacker Sends Lewd E-Mails To Elite School

By Paul Schwartzman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Secret Service has confiscated computers from the home of a prominent Washington developer after agents traced obscene and fake e-mails sent to three students at a prestigious private school from that address, according to court records.

The agents executed a search warrant at the Northwest home of Herbert Miller on Jan. 6 after the principal at Georgetown Day School notified police that a hacker had infiltrated the school's computer network and sent the e-mails under a teacher's name.

The three e-mails included one that contained language that was "vile, brutally mean, sexually violent, racist and homophobic," according to a letter that Kevin Barr, the school's principal, sent to parents last month.

No charges have been filed, and the investigation is ongoing, said Tom Mazur, a spokesman for the Secret Service, which was involved because it probes computer crimes.

No "currently enrolled GDS student" was involved in sending the e-mails, said Peter M. Branch, Georgetown Day's head of school.

Robert Litt, an attorney for Herbert Miller and his wife, Patrice, said no one from the family -- including Daniel Miller, the couple's son, who graduated from Georgetown Day last year -- was involved in writing or sending the e-mails.

"I know what happened; it's not Daniel," Litt said, declining to elaborate.

Herbert Miller, who owns the house where the computers were seized, has been a major fundraiser for Democrats over the years and has a long list of well-known real estate projects, including Washington Harbour and Potomac Mills. More recently, the city chose his company, Western Development Corp., as one of four main developers for the land around the proposed baseball stadium near the Anacostia waterfront in Southeast.

According to the court records, first obtained by thesmokinggun.com, a Web site that specializes in unearthing official documents, the e-mails were sent the night of Nov. 26 from the e-mail account of Alison Taylor Fastov, a teacher at the school.

In the first message, the hacker castigated a student for writing an "unsatisfactory" essay, adding, "I don't mean to be harsh, but this paper is rubbish." The message was signed, "Alison."

In a second e-mail, another student was informed that a teacher "will Fail you in French because of your conduct on your take-home test."

The third e-mail, which included racial epithets and obscene language and was addressed to a third student, said, "I want to defecate on your face."

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