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The Case of the Hacking Hooker

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a former employee of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to four years probation for using her computer access at work to promote prostitution.

Candice Smith, 44, of Blue Springs, pleaded guilty in July to unauthorized computer intrusion. Her sentence includes four months of home detention.

As part of her plea, Smith admitted making illegal inquiries into the LexisNexis database, which was available to her in her job as a payment recovery specialist for the Center for Medicaid Services, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services.

According to prosecutors, Smith had been working as a prostitute and used information from LexisNexis to help her avoid arrest and prosecution.

Candice Smith told KMBC by phone that she wants to go on with her life and raise her children, but she can’t get a job. She said the media coverage of her case has destroyed her life and hurt her family.

Her ex-husband, Tom Smith, wants custody of the boys, ages 8 and 11.

“There are two boys involved. Why now, when you get caught, do you think of the children?” Tom Smith told KMBC’s Maria Antonia.

Tom Smith said he had hoped his ex-wife would end up in prison.

“She just got away with it,” Tom Smith said.

He was in the courtroom Wednesday to raise his concerns about Candice raising their boys.

“We took our case to social services, and they said unless she was making the children watch her perform sexual acts, there was nothing they could do to help us out,” Tom Smith said.

He said he will fight for custody of the children in court.

Meanwhile, the federal judge said Smith’s case is not about prostitution — it’s about a federal employee using a computer illegally.

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