A quiet medical imaging school in was rocked by identity theft charges filed against an employee in a white collar crime case. The employee had been working there for only six weeks when the matter came to light.
According to reports, she was working as a receptionist at the school. In that position, she had access to a databank full of personal student records, including their private identity information.
Her work didn’t draw any attention until a student at the school reported something suspicious. The student said that someone had tried to open credit lines at Wal-Mart and Victoria’s Secret in her name, with the Wal-Mart account racking up charges of $2,570. This was reported to police, who launched an investigation starting last June 28th.
The same student said that she had recently gotten unauthorized bills from Cablevision, E-Zpass, Verizon, Geico and a furniture store. She was able to track the furniture store purchase to the receptionist.
In response, the school terminated the receptionist’s employment. They also emailed staff and students warning them that their information may have been compromised. Everyone was advised to look over their accounts to see if they could find any unauthorized charges.
Their advice was taken, and other students came forward with complaints. Most were about lines of credit they hadn’t authorized having been opened, and debts they weren’t responsible for being attributed to them.
Staff members also complained, with one saying that $850 in unauthorized charges had appeared on her account.
According to police, the receptionist allegedly made 17 purchases with the personal information of students and staff at the school. They say that she also used the information to pay her bills, including a payment on a loan.
White collar crime cases, like identity theft, affect many people in Florida. Those who are involved in such cases should take all the necessary steps to make sure key facts are brought to light.
Source: Stamford Advocate, “Stamford school receptionist charged with stealing student IDs” John Nickerson, Sep. 27, 2013