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Debra Wong Yang
United States Attorney
Central District of California


United States Courthouse
312 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
Release No. 06-093

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2006
For Information, Contact Public Affairs
Thom Mrozek (213) 894-6947

SIMI VALLEY MAN ADMITS FRAUDULENTLY ACCESSING PERSONAL INFORMATION IN MERLIN INFORMATION DATABASE


Los Angeles, CA - A Simi Valley man pleaded guilty today to federal criminal charges for fraudulently obtaining personal information for thousands of victims from Merlin Information Services and using that information to commit identity theft by opening up credit card accounts.

Brian Dill, 33, pleaded guilty today to accessing a protected computer to conduct fraud and using an unauthorized access device (credit card). Dill pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Percy Anderson, who is scheduled to sentence the defendant on September 25.

In a plea agreement filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles, Dill admitted that he accessed the Merlin database service under false pretenses by claiming to be a private investigator. Dill used the database to fraudulently obtain personal information belonging to other people. Dill conducted at least 1,873 queries through the Merlin system to obtain information on approximately 5,875 people.

Dill admitted using a fraudulently obtained credit card to make unauthorized purchases totaling over $2,000. Additionally, Dill admitted providing information fraudulently obtained from Merlin, as well as fraudulently obtained credit cards, to friends and acquaintances.

At sentencing, Dill faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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Release No. 06-093

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