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Engineering junior Ryan Goldstein was indicted for his alleged involvement in a computer-hacking conspiracy that spans the globe, the FBI announced today.

Goldstein was arrested Nov. 1 and charged with computer-fraud conspiracy, but was released on a $10,000 bond. He has pled not guilty, and according to University spokeswoman Lori Doyle, he is still enrolled as a student.

The bio-engineering major allegedly helped a New Zealand hacker stage a 50,000-computer attack against online chat networks.

The FBI has indicted several others involved in similar ploys across the country. Police have also executed related raids in New Zealand.

The case is part of the FBI's nation-wide crackdown on computer crime, which has uncovered more than $20 million in economic loss with more than one million victimized computers.

The investigation was triggered by a suspicious crash of the Engineering School's server in February 2006.

Penn technicians found that a student account - not Goldstein's - had been logged into 57,958 times in four days from computers in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. The user was downloading mysterious files onto the Penn server, an affadavit filed by FBI agent and computer-crimes specialist Jason Stroud reported.

Log-in records showed that the same account had been accessed from Goldstein's King's Court dorm room as well as his home in Ambler, PA.

"I believe the charges are exaggerated and beyond that I have no further comment," Goldstein's lawyer, Ronald Levine, said.

Goldstein's trial is scheduled for March. If he is convicted, he faces a maxiumum sentence of five years in prison or a $250,000 fine.

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