February 27, 2002 1:20 PM PST

Software "time bomber" goes to prison

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The perpetrator of an unusual act of computer sabotage will begin serving a 41-month prison sentence May 1.

Timothy Allen Lloyd, 39, was sentenced to prison Wednesday for concocting a computer "time bomb" that deleted programs on his former employer's computer network 20 days after he left high-tech measurement company Omega Engineering.

Lloyd lost his job at Omega on July 10, 1996, after a 10-year stint with the company. On July 30, he activated a "time bomb" that destroyed Omega's manufacturing software programs.

A jury in a Newark, N.J., federal court convicted Lloyd in May 2000 of one count of causing irreparable damage to Omega. Prosecutors said Lloyd's actions cost the company $10 million.

The conviction was set aside in July after a juror said she may have been affected by publicity surrounding a high-profile virus that was released in May. However, an appeals court reinstated the conviction last October.

Lloyd's attorney did not immediately return requests for comment.

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