PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Two men were sentenced Monday to probation and community service for trying to hack the IRS to obtain President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
Andrew Harris, 23, of Philadelphia, and Justin Hiemstra, 22, of St. Paul Park, Minnesota, both previously pleaded guilty to federal charges of computer fraud.
Harris and Hiemstra were students at Haverford College outside Philadelphia in 2016 when they used a school computer lab to open a fraudulent federal financial aid application for an unnamed Trump family member.
The students managed to reset a password and, using Trump’s Social Security number and date of birth, repeatedly tried to import Trump’s federal tax information into the application, according to court documents.
The U.S. Department of Education and IRS detected the attempts.
Trump has long refused to release his tax information.
A federal judge gave each defendant two years’ probation and 200 hours of community service.
“Hiemstra and Harris thought they could manipulate and outsmart the FAFSA application process in order to obtain Donald Trump’s tax returns for their own purposes. As it turns out, that was not such a smart move: they committed a serious violation of privacy rights and a federal crime in the process,” U.S. Attorney William McSwain, a Trump appointee, said in a statement.
A defense attorney had previously called the plan a college prank that went wrong.