Feds say man illegally streaming professional sports games tried to extort $150,000 from MLB

NEW YORK -- A Minnesota man was charged Thursday with trying to extort $150,000 from the MLB as he illegally streamed copyrighted content from major professional sports leagues online.

Joshua Streit, 30, of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in Manhattan federal court with extortion, accessing a protected computer to commit fraud for personal gain, wire fraud and illicit digital transmission.

It was not immediately clear who will represent him at an initial appearance in federal court in Minnesota.

Federal authorities said Streit hacked into the computer systems of MLB, the NBA, the NFL and the NHL to stream copyrighted live games before trying to extort $150,000 from MLB with threats to publicize alleged vulnerabilities in MLB's internet infrastructure.

Michael J. Driscoll, head of New York's FBI office, said in a release that Streit -- also known as Josh Brody -- "hacked into the systems of several of our country's biggest professional sports leagues and illegally streamed copyrighted live games."

"Instead of quitting while he was ahead, he allegedly decided to continue the game by extorting one of the leagues, threatening to expose the very vulnerability he used to hack them," Driscoll said.

He added: "The puns write themselves in this investigation, and now instead of scoring a payday, Mr. Brody faces a federal prison sentence as a penalty."

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said all four sports leagues had aided the investigation into Streit's activities, which stretched from 2017 until August, with one of the leagues claiming it lost about $3 million from the streaming.

"Streit has struck out on his illegal streaming and extortion scheme," Williams said.

Authorities said Streit used login credentials from legitimate users of sports league websites to gain access to live feeds that he then streamed over a website he operated.