Arrest of Choicelunch CFO Reveals the Cutthroat World of School Lunches

If you never realized just how competitive the world of school lunches could be, today is your day to get enlightened.

Federal authorities have arrested the executive of a school lunch distribution company for allegedly hacking into a competitor’s website to steal customer data and put it out of business. The alleged hacker is 40-year-old Choicelunch CFO Keith Wesley Cosbey. Prosecutors say he stole confidential data from rival company LunchMaster, including what foods hundreds of San Francisco Bay Area students like to eat and what they’re allergic to.

According to the criminal complaint against him, filed in San Mateo County, Cosbey stole data on hundreds of students, and then sent it anonymously to the local government department that oversees the school lunch program in an apparent effort to undermine his competitor.

The approach backfired, though, when the California Department of Education contacted The LunchMaster about the data leak, and the company searched its access logs, it is claimed. It apparently tracked the intrusion down to an IP address associated with Danville, California – where Choicelunch is headquartered.

If convicted, Cosbey could get three years behind bars. He’s due in court on May 22.

Choicelunch and LunchMaster have gone toe to toe before. The former sued the latter for copyright infringement and unfair competition in 2013.