Ex-state worker pleads guilty to damaging state computer files day after her termination

Published 3:25 pm Monday, July 29, 2019

A Jackson woman pleaded guilty Monday to intentionally damaging state computer files the day after she was fired.

Tara Steverson, 39, of Jackson, was terminated from her position at the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) on July 31, 2017.

On August 1, 2017, the day after her termination, Steverson unlawfully accessed one of the systems utilized by MDHS and intentionally changed several files, resulting in other users being unable to perform their usual and customary workflow functions.

The affected system was used to retain records and plans of home care and generically supports the tracking of home and community based services such as in-home services, meal delivery, and caregiver support. Steverson did over $5,000 in damage before losing access to the system.

Steverson will be sentenced by Judge Henry T. Wingate on October 28, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew W. Eichner.