By Marcos Colón

December 21, 2016

A Texas man has pleaded guilty to hacking a competing business he previously owned to access its database and siphon data on more than 700,000 customer accounts.

David Kent, 40, of Spring, Texas, pleaded guilty in a Manhattan court to charges that include conspiracy to commit computer hacking and wire fraud.

After selling a networking website tailored for oil and gas industry professionals to a New York firm in 2010, Kent launched his competing business in 2013, according to a release by the Department of Justice.

In an attempt to increase Oilpro’s membership numbers, Kent illegally accessed the competing company’s database to siphon customer data. Once Kent allegedly obtained the information, he then attempted to sell his business, Oilpro.com, to the competitor he hacked.

If convicted, he faces up a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.