Digital forensics holds key in Del Lanes case

December 22, 2016 06:31 PM

DELMAR – The East Greenbush School District is the latest to step away from the bowling center it called home. It comes after the arrest of the co-owner of two centers, charged with sending an indecent photo to a 14-year old girl, police said.

But Marvin Sontz, 61, claims his social media account “Instagram” was hacked.

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"No one really believes that this could happen,” said Bill Cornell, his business partner at three centers including Del Lanes and East Greenbush Bowling Center. “He is the most technologically inept person I have ever met in my life. If I need a picture of something that's broke around here to get a part or something he has to have another staff member take the picture and send it to us."

Cornell has known Sontz for decades. Sontz hired Cornell at Del Lanes, a center that has been open since 1962. Sontz and Cornell bought it together in 2003 and they bought East Greenbush Bowling Center in 2013.
"I know for a fact his social media accounts he had to have some of our employees set up for him,” Cornell said. “He's not capable and he doesn't understand that part of it.

"Yes he uses social media but short of looking at it, I don't even know if he makes any posts. I know when we looked at his Instagram after this happened, there were no posts or anything like that."

NewsChannel 13 asked a digital forensics expert from GreyCastle Security in Troy about hacking Instagram.

“If the suspected attacker has credentials, he can do anything to the account,” said Adam Dean. “Typically people aren't targeting Instagram accounts, they're targeting bank accounts, trying to get money out of the person.

"I've personally never seen someone go after their social media account cause there's no money there. Unless they're seriously targeting the person trying to ruin their reputation or put them in jail."

And we asked attorney George LaMarche to explain what kind of a defense of being hacked means for Sontz.

"The question is did he know that this material was indecent, did he know that he had it on his phone and did he intend to send it?" said LaMarche. "That's certainly something a computer forensics examiner could come in and testify to in his defense if he said I didn't send it.

“Longstanding member of the community who's been in good standing successful business person he should be given the benefit of the doubt at this point. He is presumed not guilty of these charges and the prosecutor must prove that he's guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."


WNYT Staff

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