New York Life Insurance data thief sentenced

Stephanie Fahlgren, 33, of Sacramento, was sentenced this week to two and a half years in federal prison for access device fraud. She had pleaded guilty on January 28, 2010 after having been arrested in July 2009.

According to court documents, from June 2008 through November 2008, Fahlgren used her computer to obtain personal and financial information relating to more than 114 victims. She obtained the information by accessing a computer database of New York Life Insurance Company without authorization. Previous coverage of this case had indicated that Fahlgren had obtained login information for a Sacramento insurance agent, although how she obtained it was never revealed publicly. The database contained the medical and personal data of prospective life insurance purchasers. Using this information, Fahlgren compiled profiles of the victims and opened lines of credit and credit cards their names. She then made purchases without the consent of the victims, often ordering merchandise to be shipped to an address in Sacramento or picked it up at retail locations.

A statement issued by United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner of the Eastern District of California indicates that in sentencing Fahlgren, Judge Morrison C. England Jr. noted the devastating effect of identity fraud on the victims and that the crime is prolific.

Fahlgren is scheduled to appear in court on July 29, 2010, for the court to determine the amount of restitution owed to the fraud victims.

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