Distributing Information to be Used in Identity Theft
LOS ANGELES A Manchester, New Hampshire man was found guilty this afternoon of eight felony counts related to a website where he posted thousands of Social Security Numbers and other personal information belonging to employees of Global Crossing.
William Sutcliffe, 42, was convicted of thee counts of making interstate threats to injure or kill and five counts of transferring Social Security Numbers with the intent to aid and abet another felony.
During a four-week trial, the federal court jury that convicted Sutcliffe heard evidence that he was employed by Global Crossing as a computer technician until September 2001, when he was fired by the communications company. Soon after his termination, Sutcliffe established a website EvilGX.com the name of which referenced Global Crossing’s stock symbol. Sutcliffe also picketed outside Global Crossing’s Beverly Hills offices and held a sign referring people to his website.
The website contained personal information about many Global Crossing employees. In addition to Social Security Numbers, the website had phone numbers, home addresses, dates of birth and other data. The website also contained threats to publish even more information about additional employees, and links to other websites that discussed the ease with which identity fraud could be committed by an individual with the required personal information of another, such as birthdate and social security number.
The five counts of transferring Social Security Numbers relate to thousands of SSNs that Sutcliffe posted on his website. The jury in this case was told that Sutcliffe posted the SSNs of as many as 8,000 Global Crossing employees at any given time.
As employees realized their personal information was being made public, Global Crossing filed a lawsuit and obtained a temporary restraining order directing Sutcliffe not to publicize information he obtained while he was a Global Crossing employee. After a process server attempted to deliver a copy of the TRO to him, Sutcliffe threatened to kill the process server on EvilGX.com. Sutcliffe also threatened Global Crossing’s assistant general counsel on the website.
Sutcliffe is scheduled to be sentenced on March 22 by United States District Judge A. H0oward Matz. As a result of the guilty verdicts on the eight felony charges, Sutcliffe faces a maximum possible penalty of 30 years in federal prison.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Elena Duarte
(213) 894-8611 Release No. 03-167