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California woman charged with having and using cell phone spyware

Kristin Nyunt was charged last week with two counts of illegal wiretapping and having illegal interception devices.

According to the DOJ's criminal information (pdf), Nyunt, 40, most recently of Monterey, California, allegedly intercepted sensitive law enforcement and other communications by using “spy software” that she secretly installed on the mobile phone of a police officer.

The offenses allegedly occurred from 2010 to 2012.

"The information also alleges that during the same period she illegally possessed interception devices, namely spy software including Mobistealth, StealthGenie, and mSpy, knowing that the design of those products renders them primarily useful for the purpose of the surreptitious interception of wire, oral, and electronic communications," the DOJ said.

In September, the DOJ announced the indictment of Hammad Akbar, 31, of Lahore, Pakistan. He's the CEO of InvoCode Pvt Ltd, "the company that advertises and sells StealthGenie online."

Akbar and his co-conspirators allegedly created the spyware, which could intercept calls and other communications to and from mobile phones, including the iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.

Nyunt’s initial appearance in federal court is scheduled for October 23 in San Jose.

She's charged with violating Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2511(1)(a) (Interception of Communications) and 2512(1)(b) (Possession of Interception Device Transported in Interstate Commerce).

If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each violation.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.