A jury last week convicted former IT professional Michael Thomas of Lewisville, Texas, under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), finding the 37-year-old guilty of sabotaging the computer systems of auto industry web software provider ClickMotive.

Thomas was formerly the IT operations manager at ClickMotive in Plano, Texas. According to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Eastern District of Texas, Thomas in 2011 became disgruntled with his employer and sought revenge by deleting important files and tampering with email distribution groups so that customer support requests would go unanswered.

“The jury's verdict in this case sends an important message to IT professionals everywhere: an employee in the defendant's position holds the proverbial keys to the kingdom and with that power comes great responsibility,” said U.S. Attorney John M. Bales. “Intentionally causing damage to a computer system without authorization is a criminal act that can and will be prosecuted.” Thomas faces up to 10 years in prison.