Former Tampa Police Department Employee Pleads Guilty To Computer Intrusion

There’s an update to a breach previously reported on this site. Last Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida reported that  Tonia Bright (53, Tampa) pleaded guilty to two counts of obtaining information from a protected computer for a fraudulent purpose.

According to the plea agreement, Bright was a civilian employee of the Tampa Police Department and worked as a community service officer.  As part of her authorized duties, Bright took reports from citizens related to incidents not requiring the response of a sworn police officer.  In this capacity, she had access to local, state, and federal law enforcement databases, including the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computerized index that contains the personally identifiable information (PII) of millions of individuals. Bright’s use of these databases was restricted to the performance of her authorized duties.

Between 2009 and 2014, Bright accessed NCIC and other password-protected law enforcement databases to obtain PII, and then provided it to her friend, Rita Monique Girven, on at least ten occasions. Girven used the information to file fraudulent federal income tax returns and claim refunds to which she was not entitled. When Girven received the fraudulently obtained refunds, she shared some of the proceeds with Bright.  Girven previously pleaded guilty in a separate case. On November 20, 2015, she was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison.

Each of the two counts Bright pleaded guilty to carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.  Her sentencing date has not yet been set.

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