FL: Broward man pleads guilty in massive identity theft (updated)
Wayne K. Roustan reports that a former employee of an unnamed North Miami law firm was involved in an ID theft/tax refund scheme:
Rodney Saintfleur, 28, of West Park, plead to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of access device fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft, prosecutors said.
Evidence showed that between April 2009 and July 2012, Saintfleur tapped into to the Lexis/Nexis online proprietary database where he worked.
He accessed the names, birth dates, and social security numbers of more than 26,000 people and gave this sensitive information to co-conspirators to file fraudulent income tax returns seeking refunds, according to court documents.
Read more on the Sun Sentinel. The law firm is not named in the court filings, as far as I can tell.
BrowardNet Online has a copy of the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
One question: how is that he accessed 26,000 SSN and LexisNexis didn’t flag this? Or did they detect it, but just not in a timely fashion? I’ve sent them an inquiry about that.
Update of 12-15-12: Sadly, after numerous attempts to get a substantive response, this is what I received from LexisNexis:
In the matter regarding Mr. Saintfleur, the organization where he was employed had a legitimate business need and permissible purpose for the access provided. His employer provided notice to individuals potentially impacted by his misuse of our services.
We are committed to protecting privacy and maintaining the security of the information in our databases. This is a responsibility we take seriously. We continuously take steps to strengthen privacy and security safeguards to improve the overall protection of consumers’ information.
It doesn’t take more than average reading comprehension to determine that they never answered my question. In many respects, this is similar to the Experian situation I filed an FTC complaint about: if you maintain a database, you have some responsibility to ensure that the data are adequately protected – including protecting it from employees of clients who might misuse their access or those who might steal client login credentials. If LexisNexis or one of their related services did flag the problem, I hope they say so and explain how they handled it.