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Property Crimes

A convicted felon and alleged hacker deported from Sweden will face criminal prosecution for stealing the identities of numerous victims and waging cyber attacks on a Beverly Hills business and justice system officials. The defendant was expected to be arraigned on June 1, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Steven Grant Almeida, 32, of Torrance is scheduled to be arraigned in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. He is charged in case No. BA397412.

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“This cowardly cyber criminal will no longer be able to hide behind the anonymity of the Internet,” District Attorney Steve Cooley said. “He will be thoroughly exposed in court for the incredible harm he has wreaked on so many.”

Almeida faces 71 felony charges including identity theft, wiretapping, cutting a utility line, unauthorized disruption/denial of computer services, computer intrusion and grand theft.

The criminal complaint includes a prior conviction allegation in which Almeida was convicted in Los County in April 2007 of shooting at an inhabited dwelling. The criminal acts occurred in 2006. In that case, he was sentenced to a five-year state prison term.

The defendant is accused of disrupting the business operations of a Beverly Hills Pilates studio by high-jacking the phone lines and website. After purportedly gaining illegal control of the website, prosecutors allege that the defendant defaced the site.

Almeida is also accused of stealing the identities of four justice system officials. The defendant purportedly used the victims’ personal identifying information to shut off the electricity at their homes, doing so successfully in some instances. Almeida also is alleged to have gained access to credit card accounts and hacked into the private e-mail account of at least one victim.

The defendant’s bail is recommended at more than $2.3 million. If convicted as charged, Almeida faces a statutory maximum state prison sentence of 97 years.

Deputy District Attorney Donn Hoffman of the High Technology Crimes Division is assigned to the case. The matter remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation and the Beverly Hills Police Department.

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