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Ashley Madison hack victim David Browne ‘burns down garage’, loses wife and job – and could face prison

David Browne allegedly set his garage on fire in the months after he learned his details had been published in the Ashley Madison hack on August 20

Published 08/12/2015 | 14:46

David Browne
David Browne
Ashley Madison's CEO Noel Biderman has resigned

A school superintendent in Randolph, New Jersey, lost his wife and his job after allegedly burning down his garage when his details appeared online in a cyber attack on the cheating site Ashley Madison.

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David Browne allegedly set his garage on fire in the months after he learned his details had been published in the Ashley Madison hack on August 20. Local press reported on October 14 that Browne “was found injured and lying on the ground after a fire broke out in the garage”.

Ashley Madison's CEO Noel Biderman has resigned
Ashley Madison's CEO Noel Biderman has resigned

"The investigation determined that Browne purposely set the fire with the use of an accelerant inside of the detached garage causing the destruction of the structure," said John L. Molinelli, Bergen County prosecutor.

Browne was on medical leave of absence from his $167,500 job as Randolph superintendent of schools as of September 8. He was later charged with arson in connection with the fire. Neither the school district or the board gave comment on Browne’s case to local press.

A source told the New York Post that Browne had an account on Ashley Madison and told his wife and employers about it after the data breach made international headlines.

The school said it had “parted ways” with Browne on October 27 in  an agreement that allowed him three months of compensation and sick pay, according to the Randolph Reporter.

His wife Monica Browne, also a superintendent at the school, allegedly fired for divorce citing irreconcileable differences on November 23, seeking custody of the couple’s 10 and 12-year-old children, the New York Post reported.

The names of 37 million people using Ashley Madison were leaked online by hackers in August after a break in at the Toronto offices of parent company Avid Life Media Inc.

The website, whose slogan is, "Life is short. Have an affair," is marketed to facilitate extramarital affairs.

Canadian police revealed that at least two people killed themselves following the breach.

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