2 ex Haverford College students get probation for trying to access Trump’s tax returns

Jim Melwert
December 16, 2019 - 6:51 pm
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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Two former Haverford College students will avoid prison time after trying to hack a federal financial aid website to get President Donald Trump’s tax returns. 

Justin Hiemstra from Minnesota and Andrew Harris of Philadelphia both received two years of probation and 200 hours of community service.

The pair pleaded guilty to using a school computer and someone else’s log-in — without that person’s permission — to get on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website.

They posed as a member of Trump’s family and were able to answer the security questions to reset a password and log in to an existing account. They then used Trump’s date of birth and Social Security number to try to import his federal tax information into an application. 

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It didn’t work, but the two did face federal charges and were kicked out of school.

Harris’ lawyer, William Brennan, said Harris is very sorry and very relieved there’s no prison time involved for what he describes as a college prank gone awry.

“He apologized publicly to the president and to his family and at no time did he mean any harm to President Trump or any of the Trump family,” he said. “Unfortunately the attempt was made and it resulted in criminal charges, but the court imposed a sentence commensurate with the crime.”

Federal prosecutors called it a serious violation of privacy rights, and they’ll do everything in their power to make information on FAFSA forms more secure.