SAN MARCOS, Calif. – A California State University San Marcos student was arrested and will face federal charges for allegedly rigging a student body election.
Matthew Weaver, a junior at CSUSM, was arrested Thursday and charged with fraud, access device fraud and unauthorized access to a computer, according to FBI special agent Foxworth.
“It was something that rose to the level that it did violate federal charges,” said Foxworth.
Court documents showed Weaver was stealing the identification and passwords of fellow students.
“Our IT department noticed some unusual activities going on with one of our campus computer lab computers,” said Margaret Lutz, spokeswoman for CSUSM.
Lutz said it happened last year during the ASI student body elections. According to federal documents, Weaver had attached 19 keyloggers to various computers in the computer lab. A keylogger is a device that records keystrokes entered into a computer.
“About 700 student passwords were compromised, which was in relation to ASI elections last spring,” said Lutz.
Prosecutors said Weaver did this to win the election, but it had nothing to do with politics.
An ASI President is paid a yearly stipend of $8,000 and four Vice Presidents receive $7,000 each. Weaver had convinced four fraternity brothers to run in the election, so they could collect on the $36,000. The student body of government also oversees a $300,000 budget each year.
Caitlin McNulty’s boyfriend was roommates with Weaver and was not surprised when Fox 5 told her he had been arrested.
“He seemed a little on edge,” said McNulty. “He was a little different. He always would have like a hidden agenda it seemed like. That’s too bad that had to happen.”
Other students said a rigged student election is one thing, but federal charges are one step too far.
“I think it’s a little too strong for school government for ASI,” said Nick Jungman. “I don’t think it should be that big. I might even say like it should probably stay in Cal State San Marcos or the San Marcos area.”
“The message to anyone out there that would contemplate engaging in this type of activity is don’t do it,” said Foxworth.
Weaver’s mother attended her son’s arraignment at federal court, but declined to comment.
Judge Gallo set bail for Weaver at $20,000. He is scheduled to return to court Feb 21.