College Student Faces Jail Time for Computer Crimes — Orange County RCFL Aiding Investigators

A 20-year old college student could spend the next six years in jail if found guilty of the 12 felony counts of computer access and fraud against him.

6/13/11: College Student Faces Jail Time for Computer Crimes — Orange County RCFL Aiding Investigators

A 20-year old college student could spend the next six years in jail if found guilty of the charges against him. Trevor Timothy Harwell, 20, of Fullerton, was charged on June 7, 2011, with 12 felony counts of computer access and fraud with sentencing enhancement allegations for committing a crime for sexual gratification. Harwell, a computer science major, is enrolled in Biola University, a private Christian school in Southern California.

Two of Harwell's alleged victims, both sisters, took their computers for repair and were advised that the problems were due to the installation of illegal spyware. The sisters reported their findings to the Fullerton Police Department — a participating agency in the Orange County Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (OCRCFL) — who investigated the case and identified four additional victims. The head of the Fullerton Police Department, Chief Michael Sellers, said, "Although nearly every crime we see today involves digital evidence of some sort, this investigation truly called for the expertise of the OCRCFL. When we joined the RCFL Program, we envisioned using the laboratory for these types of cases, so our investigators could have access to high-quality, timely, digital forensics services. If this young man is guilty of the computer crimes he is accused of committing, the Fullerton community can rest assured that the digital forensics examination was thorough, objective, and accurate."

If convicted, Harwell faces a maximum sentence of six years and four months in state prison. His next court date is July 21, 2011. Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Anthony Sosnowski at (714) 347-8814. The investigation is ongoing.

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