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Former Michigan 'Jeopardy!' champ is arraigned on computer crime charges

Perry A. Farrell, Detroit Free Press on

Published in News & Features

DETROIT--Answer: Stephanie Jass.

Question: Who is the woman who made history on the television quiz show "Jeopardy!'' but now is accused of hacking the email account of a former co-worker at Adrian College?

Stephanie Jass, 47, of Tecumseh was arraigned Tuesday morning in Lenawee County District court on two felony counts. One is the unauthorized access to a computer, computer program or network, and the other of using a computer to commit a crime.

A news release from the Michigan State Cyber Command Center said the agency started an investigation after being contacted by Adrian College staff. The allegations state that Jass may have accessed several college accounts without authorization. The arrest warrant said the activity happened on April 25 and charges were authorized after a forensic examination of the digital evidence.

Detective Sgt. Richard Ruiz said Wednesday: "The warrant was authorized a week or so ago and we coordinated with the Monroe post to arrest her."

Using the services of a computer, computer program or network without authorization or exceeding authorized access within the state of Michigan is a violation of state law.


The charge of using a computer to commit a crime is punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine along with the cost of prosecuting. The unauthorized access charge is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Jass is set to appear before Judge Laura J. Schaedler for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday.

Jass' attorney, Raymond Correll, did not return calls to The Detroit Free Press. Adrian College's Department of History and the president's office also didn't return calls.

Lenawee County prosecutor Burke Castleberry Jr. said he couldn't discuss whose emails were hacked, but said: "I can tell you this much: Basically there was a technology incident at Adrian College that caused the college to send out a campus-wide reset. When they did that there was a temporary password. Anyone could have gotten into anyone else's email at that point."


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