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LYNN COUPLE CHARGED WITH SELLING AND USING IDENTITIES OF TSA AIRPORT EMPLOYEES

MAY 12, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. - An indictment was unsealed today in federal court against a Lynn couple who were charged with selling the names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees who worked at Logan Airport.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, George N. Naccara, Federal Security Director for the Transportation Security Administration in Boston and Massachusetts State Police Colonel Marian McGovern, announced today that MICHAEL DERRING a/k/a MICHAEL WASHINGTON, 48, and TINA M. WHITE, 47, both of Lynn, were charged in an indictment with conspiracy, misrepresenting a Social Security number with intent to defraud, possessing 15 or more unauthorized access devices with intent to defraud and aggravated identity theft.

The indictment alleges that between approximately July 2008 and December 9, 2009, DERRING obtained the names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of employees who worked for TSA at Logan Airport, from a relative who worked as a contractor for TSA’s human resource department. DERRING and WHITE allegedly used the identities to open accounts using TSA employees’ identities to obtain gas, electric, cable television, telephone, and other services for themselves and their relatives, friends and customers. According to the indictment, some recipients of the services would not pay the bills, knowing that the account-holder details did not match the recipients’ identities. It is alleged that WHITE’s customers included relatives and friends of state prison inmates who sought to open telephone accounts using the TSA identities in order to, among other things, circumvent prison telephone usage rules.

“This office is committed to protecting citizens’ personal identification information from being fraudulently used, as well as protecting the companies that are duped into believing that they are providing legitimate services. Whether the information is stolen through computer hacking or less sophisticated means, the impact of identity theft can be devastating,” said U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz.

If convicted on these charges, DERRING and WHITE each face up to a total of 22 years of imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and a fine of $1 million or twice the gain or loss, whichever is highest.

The case was investigated by the Transportation Security Administration – Office of Inspection and the Massachusetts State Police with assistance from Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s Office.

It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott L. Garland and Brian Kelly of Ortiz’s Computer Crime and Public Corruption Units, respectively.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

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