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BLOOMINGTON - A Bloomington man has pleaded guilty to hacking into and damaging the computer network run by a small school district in Missouri.

Henry Curtis Underwood, 33, faces up to 10 years in prison on federal charges of unauthorized computer intrusion, a spokesman for federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Underwood was the technology coordinator for Missouri's Northeast Nodaway R-V School District in January 2005 when he hacked into its computer network and disabled other employees' user accounts, prosecutors said.

Don Ledford, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Todd Graves of the Western District of Missouri, said Underwood moved to Bloomington after being fired by the district.

Underwood worked for the National Computer Services Group assigned to State Farm Corporate South after leaving Missouri, according to court records.

An employee with the NCS Group confirmed Wednesday that Underwood used to work for the company.

Ledford said the hacking incident occurred shortly after the Nodaway County Sheriff's Department uncovered a criminal conviction in Underwood's past.

The school district placed Underwood on administrative leave after learning of his 1995 federal bank robbery conviction in Texas.

While on suspension, Underwood used a laptop computer to gain remote access to the district's computers and disable all the work stations at the district's elementary and high school, Ledford said.

"Basically, he got mad about being suspended and this was his retaliation," Ledford said, adding it took a month and $7,000 to get the school district's computer problems fixed.

Under a federal plea agreement, Underwood on Tuesday admitted to hacking into the district's computer network.

A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later date.


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