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Ex Princeton employee to pay $22K for alleged hacking

The computer criminal activity case involving a former University employee has been resolved, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday.

Alla Ryklin, 48, of West Windsor, was arrested last December for allegedly hacking into the University’s computer system and was initially charged with two counts of computer criminal activity. She was entered into a 36-month pre-trial intervention program on Feb. 27.

As a condition of the pre-trial intervention program, Ryklin will continue with mental health and substance abuse counseling, Casey DeBlasio of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said. Ryklin is also not to have any contact with the University and has agreed to pay $22,899 as restitution to the University by the end of the program.

The restitution amount was provided by the University as the amount required to fix the damage caused by Ryklin, DeBlasio said.

University Spokesperson Martin Mbugua declined to comment on the case and deferred comment to the prosecutor’s office.

The pre-trial intervention program provides defendants — usually first-time offenders — with rehabilitative services when such services can be reasonably expected to deter future criminal behavior, according to the New Jersey Courts website. Once the defendant has successfully completed the program, the original charges against the defendant are dismissed without any record of conviction.

“PTI strives to solve personal problems which tend to result from the conditions that appear to cause crime and, ultimately, to deter future criminal or disorderly behavior by a defendant,” the website reads.

Ryklin is a former employee of the University, having been a project manager/learning management system administrator at the University from January 2001 to December 2012, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Assistant Prosecutor Christine Petrucci said in December that Ryklin had allegedly accessed and damaged a University online learning center designed for use by University employees. Ryklin allegedly deleted accounts and pages without authorization.

Petrucci said this would have occurred some time between December 2012 and June 2013.

Ryklin was initially arrested by the University’s Department of Public Safety, and Petrucci said that most of the credit for the investigation belonged to Public Safety, which she said had begun its investigation months before the prosecutor’s office filed charges.

Ryklin could not be reached for comment as of press time Wednesday. An attorney for Ryklin, Joseph Eustace, did not return a phone call Wednesday.

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