The Oilpro.com founder hacked a competitors database to boost own company’s value.
The Oilpro.com founder hacked a competitors database to boost own company’s value.

The founder of a professional networking site was sentenced to a year and one day in prison after hacking into a competitor's database and attempting to sell his site to the same company whose database he hacked.

Oilpro.com Founder David W. Kent, age 41, of Spring, Texas, was convicted Oct. 6 on for intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization in an attempt to boost the value of his own company by stealing information from his competitor, according to a Justice Department press release.

“In or around August 2010, Kent sold Website-1 for approximately $51 million to a publicly traded company headquartered in New York, New York (“Company-1”),” the release said. “Kent entered into an employment agreement with Company-1 and agreed to continue to serve as the President of Website-1 after the acquisition.”

In September 2011, Kent left the company and founded Oilpro.com, which offers services similar to that of “Company-1” however, officials said Kent conspired to access information belonging to Website-1 without authorization to defraud the firm.

Authorities said that between October 2013 and February 2016, Kent stole information from over 700,000 customer accounts in an effort to defraud the victim company and after stealing the information, Kent used the data to invite members of the victim company's site to join his own networking site.

Oilpro.com has since shut down after Kent pleaded guilty.