Former FAA Employee Sentenced To Prison In Software Code Theft
June 12, 2001
Former FAA software developer Thomas A. Varlotta was sentenced by a U.S. District Court judge in Chicago to a year in prison for the theft of an air traffic control software source code the agency had spent $1 million to develop. Varlotta, who pleaded guilty in September to theft charges, led a four-person team that worked for five years to develop an air traffic control navigation program that relayed critical flight data between Chicago O'Hare Airport and the Elgin, IL, Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facility. Varlotta resigned his FAA position in June 1998, falsely telling his supervisor he had destroyed the original source code for the program. OIG investigators searched Varlotta’s home and discovered a floppy disk containing an encrypted version of the program source code.