Cedarville Man Sentenced To 10 Months For Computer Hacking

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) – A Cedarville man was sentenced to 10 months for computer and email hacking, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas Conner Eldridge.

Mark A. Townsend, 45, was sentenced to five months in prison and five months home detention, as well as, five years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine, the release states.

The sentencing took place in U.S. District Court in Fort Smith before Judge Paul K. Holmes III, according to the release.

U. S. Attorney Eldridge stated “We will actively pursue crimes involving computer intrusion and hacking.  Those who perpetrate these crimes intentionally invade the privacy of others and steal information.  Such crimes victimize law-abiding citizens and should be investigated and prosecuted.”

According to documents filed in the case, from May, 2002 through June, 2013, Townsend operated and participated in an Internet business which solicited customers that sought, in return for a fee, the passwords of email accounts belonging to other people.

Townsend, and others that he recruited to participate in the business, obtained those passwords without the permission of the password owners, court documents state.

The defendant and others involved in the business emailed those passwords and screenshots to the customers upon payment of the negotiated fees. Through everything, Townsend and others obtained access to approximately 5,921 email accounts, according to court documents.

In total, Townsend received approximately $356,235.35 in fees from customers, court documents state.

“Cyber-crime will remain a priority for the FBI,” said David T. Resch, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Little Rock. “We appreciate the hard work of our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and we will continue work together to identify and bring to justice cyber criminals.”



  • Chewy

    I’m a hoping the young man would get more than that and pay all them folks all that money he stole from them,

    • Curt Lanning

      Just to clarify, Chewy, and I’m not condoning his activity, but he didn’t steal money.

      The money he received was paid to him by his customers to steal passwords from other people. That doesn’t make it right, but I just wanted to clarify.

      Thanks for reading our stories!

  • Amazed

    Is this guy the one who owns with his wife, and the wife’s grandmother a restaurant in Cedarville? I think the name of the restaurant is Kapaloni

  • Larry

    This guy has 5921 counts against him. (look up On FBI site). Let’s give him a slap! How would you feel if your passwords were hacked and sent to others. Geez. And he does operate the business in Cedarville owned by … Yes you guessed it, his wife. (1/2 with her grandma). Wonder howych of that $350,000 was used for that prime property in front of the new Walmart??!! And he still gets access to computers. Don’t take ANYTHING electronic in that business! Hack away baby.

  • Chewy

    Yea they knew it was gonna be coming since they are good friends with that chicken grower that owned that propert, I looked on line to see the owners were and bit they all made sum big money there, and eat there pay his fines. So glad we have good restraunt in vb that aren’t owned by thieves !

    • really?

      Chicken grower? Really? What does that mean? What does a chicken grower have to do with this crime? You people need more to do with your life!

      • Shocked

        Chicken grower?!?! Bahahaha some people need to have an iq before they can comment! Guess you don’t eat chicken.. I do had some tonight… Them chicken growers are some of the BEST people I’ve ever! Met! Guess you also have not been to kokopelli… Your loss they have amazing food and some of the best fried pies EVER!! So good stay away means my wait won’t be any longer! As for this man… Who don’t make mistakes? No one is perfect! And only god can judge us… And that’s not you! At least he can make a mistake do his time and learn from it and walk away a smarter man… Way more than you can say about your self hell you don’t even know what farmers are… All we can do is pray for idiots like you! Now stay out of our town if you don’t like it! We won’t miss you any! And the next time you have chicken know someone has put in many hours to make sure you have a healthy chicken to eat… Yeah you’re welcome!

  • concerned citizen

    Larry I think you got two completely different stories mixed up. He was paid for serviced rendered as illegal as it was. The stolen money was taken from Crawford County tax payers by a member of the city council. Who stepped down prior to completion of the investigation… said they would pay every penny back then pled not guilty….

    2 different stories

  • we'vehadit

    @ Concerned Citizen… you are correct. The treasurer will most likely receive the same slap on the wrist as he did. Probably even less of one considering her mother is the County treasurer and claims she knew nothing of it even though she is listed as treasurer on the incorporation papers with her daughter. The “special” prosecutor has charged her with felony theft charges, not one for each of the 100+ checks she wrote to herself but a total of 7 (one for each year). One is for theft of under $5,000 the other 6 are for More than $5,000 but Less than $25,000. witch works out to an amout of $140,000 LESS than she actually Stole !! Great deal for her ! Plus she isn’t even charged with federal tax evasion for $295,000 tax free dollars of income. But, as the citizens of Cedarville say…she is a good person just as he is , they just made a mistake ( got caught) so forget about it and move on. Unless you’re not from here, then you need to hang for any/every crime.

  • concerned citizen

    So land owners have no right to sale or lease property for the going rate. Going rate is how much the business will profit. Also if they “stole” that money from Walmart why didn’t they pick another location? Just because someone has done will for themselves or family does not mean they do not give back to their community.

    • madness

      Not sure who Chewy is, but apparently you live in a perfect town! HA! Whatever! You keep believing that. And would like to point out that you are taking it upon yourself to speak for everyone in “the farmers town” so you might think about that before you open your mouth. Not everyone has the same thoughts about this. So quit speaking as though we do. And by the way doesnt matter if you eat organic or not, something you eat is grown by a farmer!Thanks

  • Larry

    Concerned citizen, don’t believe I said stolen money. But I’m sure that theft of a persons passwords and selling them for a price is just as criminal. Hell, I bet he didn’t pay taxes

  • I support chicken growers

    People really shouldn’t talk about things they are uninformed or misinformed about.
    1. There was one count, not 5,921 counts filed. No money, credit card info, or identify info was stolen. The law was broken. The sentence was handed down. The time will be served. The fine will be paid. The family, as a whole, will deal with this for a longtime to come even though his wife was not involved in any way. She and her family are long time residents (well respected and well liked) members of the community.
    2. He and his wife own the restaurant in Cedarville (her grandmother passed away years ago). I am thankful to have a nice, clean restaurant in Cedarville that provides jobs and money in our small community.
    3. They, along with other people in the community, were made aware of Wal-mart when the mayor posted it on Facebook (which was not supposed to be done until a later date and is the reason why it was quickly removed from Facebook). Of course there were rumors of a Wal-mart, but there were also rumors it was a Sonic, a bank, etc. Again, I am glad to see our community growing and this will provide additional jobs and money to our area.
    4. “Chicken growers”?? Where do I begin? The land was sold legally and at a price Wal-mart was obviously willing to pay. Those “chicken growers” are also well respected and well liked long-time residents of the community. Hard working farmers should not be criticized for making smart business decisions.

  • Chewy

    Resident is that the same one that had 10 felony counts breakin and entering and theft of property? Please everyone I am if this is true disgusted that everyone that knows to call SS hotline or the fort smith office , that is illegal to work and fight fires and we pay him for this, are you kidding me?? I would like the paper work please to take over myself , can meet at my office in court house. Send info in a private link here please.

    • I'm sick of it!!!

      Someone needs to turn these people in…..our little town is turning to pot! Do the people of Cedarville not care who we have working for us and representing us!!! Our town is a joke!!!

    • Wife of the person y'all are talking about

      I’m very thankful for my husband to still be here with me. People don’t know that he went into a cardiac arrest 4 time, and had to have a pacemaker put it, then later went into a coma. Doctors said he wouldn’t make it, but he did. He has had numerous hand, and knee surgery’s. His back has been broke in 4 different places, and had to have a rod and screws put in his back. That’s just a little bit on his health issues. I just wanted everyone to know about his health issues, but yet he still tries to help others. Also he does not get paid for helping them, he believes in giving back to his community. Thank you and have a Blessed Day!

  • Larry

    Ya. Looks like the early announcement really hurt the city. Lol. I myself heard those ranks from many vb Walmart employees who would be transferring. So no surprise, no foul. And the dude “pled guilty” to 1 count. There were 5921 listed in the warrant and charges. Sorry. 11 years of scamming people was not a mistake anymore than 6 -7 years by the treasurer. His just wasn’t smeared all over the news.

  • Chewy

    Thank you to the 17 people that reported this to social security and Irs . I was glad to get the info today. Makes our jobs easier when we are informed of fraud on SS ans SSI. And thank you for the photos. Please inform what he is running for and send to same IP address thank you, seeing improvements already. Some advantage to being city folk,

  • Family Friend

    To inform people.
    This man who y’all are talking about is a good christian family man. The felony charge y’all are talking about happened almost 25 years ago. There are other circumstances that go with that. He is not considered a felon to this day, his record has been sealed for many years. He has not been in any trouble since then. Now concerning the SS issue, he has talked to the SS people numerous times and they said there isn’t anything they can do because it is volunteer. He tries to help around the community and other places by mowing, and volunteering his time at the Fire Dept. HE DOES NOT GET PAID FOR IT! Its VOLUNTEER! Why bashed and down a mans life that you no nothing about? He is one that would rather help people, and give the shirt off his back to help others. I thank God that I consider him a friend! Please if you have any concerns or questions fill free to contact him and not bash him on the internet where he cant see it or defend himself. Thank you and have a blessed day!

  • Really?

    Let’s ask the school officials about the disabled man. And let’s talk to folks of the mobile home park in van buren at the end of 540. As they say even more to this story. Ask parents from little league. The folks in Cedarville need to research. Ask the water dept. get over it. Everyone is really tired as I hear it of the “I’m a good guy”.

  • resident

    Partial story, yes get information correct. Ask the water dept. Water was not paid for. That is the problem the water dept has

  • Really?

    Guess that’s why the water dept refuses to “open” their hydrants to the rural FD. Bc “someone else” took water and didn’t pay. Right!!! Hahahaha

  • resident

    @ family friend. That is a good thing that he helps his community. I guess people just don’t understand how a man (as his wife stated) in that bad of health can do one of the most dangerous jobs, mow grass, and run a weed eater, yet is on disability because he is unable to work.

  • Really?

    Hahaha. Let’s call bs. I have friends there. They don’t buy it. And some are on the water dept. dist 4 aren’t allowed water without permission or supervision. That sound like real trusted group. Hahahaha. Ya

  • resident

    Question for wife of the person. Is mark anthony townsend on your fire dept? If not when did he quit? Do you have 2 people on your fire dept that were arrested around the first of the year for shop lifting at the wal-mart in van buren?

  • resident

    @ family friend. I will pose the same questions to you. Do you know if mark anthony towsend is still on dist 4 fire dept. Do you know if the people that were arrested for shop lifting at walmart are still on that fire dept.

  • resident

    @ family friend. You wanted to inform people correct? Why haven’t you answered the questions I asked.

    • Chewy

      The reason it’s quiet, is the trailer park does pay for lawn care I ask, and I called city and he mowed for Cedarville , couldn’t get much info except mowing is paid for. And if you live up there ask the city Fd if he has gone on calls. I have been able to find out a lot by asking several people here in vb , that knows a lot of honest people and works at the school, and some of them will tell you and show you paperwork, water is posted on the municipal complex door there, I was told. Your right. They are thieves and dishonest in most comments. All have been copy and pasted for last 5 months from some of those people. Great Reading. But all can be verified. Please all ask questions on 25 th to all canadates, as we do here in our town. See what answers you get.

  • Really?

    Guess that’s why the water dept refuses to “open” their hydrants to the rural FD. Bc “someone else” took water and didn’t pay. Right!!! Hahahaha
    Who was the tanker driver? Oh ya. Another running for city office. Let’s get this group in your town council.

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  • Chewy

    The tanker driver I was told is the one that ows his own buisness In Ft smith ,quality rentals didn’t know it was locally owned by that man?? Lots of questions to be answered on the new position he is running for,

  • Chewy

    The reason no comment, the Tsnker driver is one running for a position that states he owns his own buisness , didn’t know quality rentals had a local owner in your city. Seems like a lot of questions need to be answered at a forum. Let’s see how that works out?????

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