After Dobbins edited 115,000 records and deleted more than 2,300, the company’s shipments of personal protective equipment — such as gloves, masks and gowns — had to be delayed for between 24 and 72 hours, according to an FBI affidavit. Health-care workers have warned for weeks that such equipment needed in the treatment of people with covid-19, the disease the virus causes, is in short supply, and federal and state governments have scrambled to locate sources of such goods.
“This defendant allegedly disrupted the delivery of personal protective equipment in the middle of a global pandemic,” Atlanta U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak said in a statement announcing the case. “Scarce medical supplies should go to the healthcare workers and hospitals that need them during the pandemic. The Department of Justice is dedicated to moving quickly on cases like this to bring criminal opportunists to justice and protect the public during these challenging times.”
Dobbins did not return a phone and email message seeking comment Thursday.
According to the FBI affidavit, Stradis Healthcare — which is not named, but is identifiable because the document points to Dobbins’s online résumé — first detected the intrusion March 29, when it had trouble trying to print labels for shipments. The company conducted its own investigation, identifying Dobbins as the suspect, and contacted the FBI earlier this month, according to the affidavit.
Dobbins, according to the affidavit, had been hired in August 2016 and was integral in setting up some of Stradis’s computer systems — even having the responsibility of adding and removing users. But last year, according to the affidavit, Dobbins had conflicts with another department and was disciplined twice.
He was fired March 2 and received his last severance check three days before the intrusion was detected, according to the affidavit. In a news release, the Justice Department said Dobbins’s access to the computer system was cut off when he was fired, but he allegedly used a fake account he had made while he was still employed to log on.
It is unclear how many shipments were affected.
The company said in a news release shipping had “returned to full strength.”
“Of course we are disappointed about a former employee who caused the company immeasurable internal harm and caused some temporary delays in our shipping system but our focus is completely consumed in working to serve the medical community and the public during this critical time,” Stradis CEO and co-founder Jeff Jacobs said in the release.