N.C. teen to plead guilty to bomb hoaxes

Oct. 19, 2010 at 12:42 PM
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SOUTH BEND, Ind., Oct. 19 (UPI) -- A North Carolina 17-year-old says he will plead guilty to running a business making fake bomb threats for others, court records show.

Ashton C. Lundeby of Oxford was indicted as an adult by a federal grand jury on one count of conspiracy and two counts of threat-making and maliciously transmitting false information in the bomb-threat case, The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville reported Tuesday.

The bomb threats, made over the Internet, targeted schools, universities, businesses and government offices in 13 states and Japan, the Times-Union said. It wasn't disclosed how much he charged for the threat service.

Under the deal with prosecutors, Lundeby will plead guilty to the conspiracy charge Wednesday in U.S. District Court in the South Bend, Ind., in exchange for the government dropping the two threat counts, the

Times-Union said.

The case was brought in Indiana because a number of the threats, made from mid-2008 through Lundeby's arrest on March 6, 2009, targeted Purdue University in West Lafayette.

The plea agreement details Lundeby's admission that he ran an Internet business through which customers paid his online bank account to have fake bomb threats phoned to various targets. Lundeby said five other people he knew only by online aliases worked with him.

"We also had ... (an) account which allowed us to share, text chatting and other information over the Internet with as many as 300 online observers of the hoax bomb threats," Lundeby said in the agreement.

Lundeby faces a maximum prison sentence of five years and a fine of up to $250,000. He also has agreed to pay restitution to his victims and cooperate with the government against any others who may be charged.

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