Rachinger convicted and discharged

Ben Rachinger has been found guilty of obtaining by deception and discharged, in the case involving Cameron Slater an attempted hack of The Standard blog.

Rachinger had entered a guilty plea last year and was trying to get a discharge without conviction but now has a fraud conviction.

Suggested on Whale Oil last December “So yes, I think a short custodial sentence is appropriate” so they didn’t get what they wanted either. With Slater getting a discharge without conviction after diversion any penalty for Rachinger would have been a travesty.

Newshub: Former Whale Oil associate Ben Rachinger convicted and discharged

A hacker who was hired by right-wing blogger Cameron Slater to infiltrate a left-wing blog site has been convicted and discharged.

In December, IT consultant Ben Rachinger pleaded guilty to obtaining by deception after he was paid $1000 by Mr Slater to hack into The Standard, with the aim of embarrassing the Labour Party.

Mr Slater admitted his part in the plot and was discharged without conviction in May 2016.

Newshub in December 2016: Slater-hired hacker pleads guilty to fraud

A hacker who was hired by blogger Cameron Slater to infiltrate a left-wing blog site has pleaded guilty to fraud in the Manukau District Court.

IT consultant Ben Rachinger, 28, was hired by Mr Slater to hack into left-wing website The Standard, with the aim of embarrassing the Labour Party.

Mr Rachinger was paid $1000 by Mr Slater, but never carried out the hack they discussed. Instead he blew the whistle to TV3’s The Nation, telling the programme he was asked by Mr Slater to figure out who The Standard’s contributors were and record their IP and email addresses.

Police alleged Mr Rachinger never intended to follow through with the promise he made to Slater. He was charged with obtaining $1000 by deception for saying he could and would hack the site.

Slater made a complaint to the police, which led to the charge.

A summary of facts shows Mr Slater believed Labour politicians were writing for The Standard and posting their views anonymously online.

He offered Rachinger $5000 – paying him $1000 up front – believing the hack on The Standard’s servers would uncover evidence of links to Labour.

Mr Slater admitted his part in the plot and was discharged without conviction in May.

As part of his legal deal Slater needed to admit guilt, but in posts on Whale Oil afterwards sounded far from contrite

Somehow, the media are still saying Cam ordered the hack.  Well, if that was even remotely true, then I don’t understand how stupid he was by asking the police to get involved and asking Ben to share his discoveries with police.  That clearly shows Cam had no intent to do anything stupid.

More details from last year: Slater’s statement on Rachinger looks dirty and Slater versus Rachinger.

Rachinger got embroiled in dirty dealings and has paid for it with a conviction, albeit with no other penalty. Newshub said “he’s looking forward to the chance to put the matter behind him”. Lesson learnt hopefully.

Slater managed to avoid conviction, but his reputation took a further hit and he exposed his hypocrisy on political hacking and his inclination towards dirty politics and retribution.