Philadelphia (PA) – Federal prosecutors have charged a former television news anchor with hacking into a co-anchor’s email account. Lawrence Mendte used to be the anchor for CBS 3 in Philadelpha and allegedly accessed co-anchor’s Alycia Lane’s email accounts hundreds of times. Prosecutors say he leaked the information to tabloid reporters and the bad news eventually caused the station to fire Lane.
Mendte accessed the email accounts from March 2006 to May 2008. Earlier this year he was especially prolific and logged in 537 times in just four months. He allegedly accessed the accounts from various locations including work and his vacation home.
Prosecutors suspect professional jealously was the motive behind the illegal email access. Lane had been making $780,000 a year as a co-anchor which was approximately $100,000 more than Mendte.
Mendte has been charged with intentionally accessing a protected account without permission. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison, but federal sentencing guidelines will probably reduce the prison time to 3 to 6 months.