UPDATE: FBI charges ex-CSUSM student Weaver in extensive fraud scheme

UPDATE: FBI charges ex-CSUSM student Weaver in extensive fraud scheme

By Kristin Melody
Co Editor-in-Chief

SAN DIEGO — Former CSUSM student Matt Weaver was charged in federal court with four counts of fraud on Feb. 8. The FBI investigation has been ongoing since Weaver’s on-campus arrest on March 15, 2012.

According to the FBI report, Weaver was attempting to rig the 2012 ASI elections and win the office of president, and he stole 740 student identifications in the scheme. He was charged this month with four counts of fraud and released on $20,000 bail pending trial.

Further research into the case showed that Weaver had allegedly been planning to run for ASI office as early as July 2011. According to the report, he sent a request to ASI for the  budget and salary rates for ASI student officers —- who earn an annual salary ranging from $1,000 to $8,000. The ASI budget is $300,000.

FBI investigators found a PowerPoint presentation on Weaver’s computer that proposed that he and his Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity brothers (a fraternity banned from CSUSM) run on a slate to obtain five ASI positions. The presentation suggested that Weaver run for president and his fraternity brothers run for vice president positions.

According to the investigation, the method Weaver used to fraudulently access information and cast votes involved plugging keylogging devices into 19 university computers in January and February of 2012 to obtain students’ logins and passwords. He kept the information on 740 students in multiple Excel spreadsheets on his computer, one of the largest files was titled “F*** ASI alpha.”

Access to campus accounts also gives access to one’s account network-based university services which include email accounts and other private information.

On the final day of voting March 15, IITS  traced the unusual voting surges to a single computer in Academic Hall 202, the report states, IITS staff was able to remotely watch his actions. At the time of his arrest by UPD officer Brian McCauley, Weaver told officers he was “working on school project.”

Following his arrest, Weaver is alleged to have attempted to blame the election fraud on another student using Facebook. According to the report, he created screenshots using fake identities to create a Facebook conversation that implied an intentional attack on Weaver’s reputation by these other students. The screenshots were sent to local news sources by Weaver using a false identity.

The UPD seized Weaver’s laptop computer and bag, finding keyloggers, keylogger user guides and a placement drawing of different computer labs on campus. In this computer lab, officers immediately found two installed keylogging devices on university computers.

The university has since taken steps to prevent keylogging devices from being installed on campus computers but declined to describe how.

The university had no comment on the charges Weaver is facing but it did confirm that spring of 2012 was Weaver’s last semester at CSUSM.

During the 2012 election, running on a slate was against the election rules. In October of last year, the ASI Board of Directors voted to allow candidates to run on a slate with a limited collective budget.

“We changed the rules to allow candidates to run on slates is because it made the most sense to the board. Before, students from the same club or organization could not say who they were voting for let alone campaign with someone else,” ASI President Scott Silviera said.

Weaver also served as the lead editor on The Koala, an alternative student newspaper that raised a great deal of controversy on campus with its racist, misogynist and homophobic content. Since Weaver left campus last spring, the Koala has not printed another issue.

The Cougar Chronicle The independent student news site of California