Feds Bust Tijuana-Based Identity Theft Ring

I seem to have missed this February 28 press release from the U.S.A.O., Southern District of California:

Two men are charged in indictments unsealed this week with hacking into the computer servers of a major U.S. mortgage broker to steal personal information and use it to siphon funds from the brokerage accounts of thousands of victims.

Jason Ray Bailey and Victor Alejandro Fernandez were charged in a two-count indictment with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and computer hacking. Bailey was arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jan Adler; Fernandez was arraigned on Wednesday.

According to charging documents, both men are part of a Tijuana-based conspiracy that hacked the computer servers of a U.S mortgage broker and obtained mortgage applications containing customers’ personal identification information such as names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, assets, tax information, and driver’s licenses.

Approximately 4,200 customers had their information stolen between December 2012 and June 2013, and the conspiracy dates back to July 2011, the charging documents say.

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Read more here.

Kristina Davis reports the follow-up:

A Chula Vista man charged in a Tijuana-based conspiracy to hack into a national mortgage company’s server and steal the identities of thousands of clients was granted bond in San Diego federal court Thursday, while his co-defendant has been ordered to remain behind bars.

Victor Alejandro Fernandez, 38, of Chula Vista may be released on $100,000 bond to be secured by property owned by family. If released, he must stay under house arrest, be monitored by GPS and not access the Internet.

The other defendant, Jason Ray Bailey, 38, of Mammoth Lakes didn’t challenge his detention during a hearing earlier in the week.

[…]

The hackers illegally accessed BlitzDoc, a program that the mortgage company used to store personal information on its customers, including names, social security numbers, addresses, tax information and driver’s licenses, according to the indictment.

The company is not named in the federal court papers, although its computer servers are based in Michigan.

Read more on U-T San Diego

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