United States Third Circuit

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US v. Auernheimer, 13-1816

In an action arising out of the prosecution of defendant for allegedly exploiting a security flaw in AT&T's website and collecting email addresses of iPad users, the district court's venue determination is reversed, and defendant's conviction for conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and identity fraud is vacated and remanded, where venue did not lie in New Jersey because: 1) neither defendant nor his co-conspirator performed any "essential conduct element" of the underlying CFAA violation or any overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy in New Jersey; 2) defendant did not commit any essential conduct of the identity fraud charge in New Jersey; 3) the fact that approximately 4,500 of 114,000 of the email addresses obtained from AT&T’s website belonged to New Jersey residents does not change this conclusion; and 4) even assuming that defective venue could be amenable to harmless error review, the venue error here clearly affected defendant's substantial rights.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 04/11/2014
  • Published 04/11/2014

Judges

  • CHAGARES

Court

  • United States Third Circuit

Counsel

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