Spoliation of Evidence in Cybercrimes
The plaintiff sought sanctions arising out of the defendants’ intentional spoliation of evidence and other litigation misconduct in this intellectual property litigation. There were eight preservation issues including: use of wiping software; failure to implement litigation hold; failure to preserve an external hard drive; failure to preserve files and e-mails notwithstanding plaintiff’s demands and several court orders.
The Judge found through four years of discovery, the defendant had actual knowledge of his duty to preserve, “yet delayed and misrepresented the completeness of the ESI [Electronically Stored Information] production and deleted, destroyed and otherwise failed to preserve evidence.” The Judge then found the destruction “collectively constitute[d] the single most egregious example of spoliation [that he has] encountered in any case & in nearly fourteen years on the bench.”
The sanctions: Defendant to be imprisoned for up to two years, or until he paid the attorneys’ fees and costs estimated to be a “significant amount.”
Victor Stanley, Inc. v. Creative Pipe, Inc., 2010 WL 3703696 (D. Md. Sept. 9, 2010)