Florida Man Sentenced to 27 Months in Prison for Attempting to Purchase 100 Stolen Identities
A Florida man was sentenced today to serve 27 months in prison for attempting to purchase sensitive, detailed personal identifying information, known as PII – including Social Security numbers and bank account numbers – to open credit card accounts and file fraudulent tax returns.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney John P. Kacavas of the District of New Hampshire made the announcement. U.S. District Judge Steven J. McAuliffe of the District of New Hampshire imposed the sentence.
Derric Theoc, 36, was indicted by a federal grand jury in July 2013 and pleaded guilty in June 2014 to one count of attempted access device fraud. In addition to his prison sentence, he was ordered to serve two years of supervised release.
In his guilty plea, Theoc admitted that, in April 2013, he attempted to purchase packages of personal identifying information for 100 people from an undercover United States Secret Service agent who was posing as a known, prolific vendor of personally identifiable information, Hieu Minh Ngo. Theoc had previously made multiple similar purchases from Ngo.
Ngo, a Vietnamese national, pleaded guilty on March 3, 2013, to wire fraud, identification fraud and fraud in connection with access devices and on Aug. 21, 2014, to a separate indictment to four counts of computer fraud. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 1, 2014. According to court documents, Ngo administered websites from 2007 through February 2013 that allowed more than 1,000 individuals from throughout the world to access databases containing personal identifying information and conduct more than 3 million queries to obtain a person’s date of birth, Social Security number and other information. He also sold or transferred more than 150,000 packages of personally identifiable information that would allow criminals to take over the identity of another person.
The packages of personal identifying information that Theoc attempted to purchase typically included a person’s name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, driver’s license number, bank account number, bank routing number, email account, account password and place of work. Theoc further admitted that he attempted to purchase the information with the intent to obtain credit cards to make purchases or withdraw money and to file fraudulent tax returns in an effort to receive refunds to which he was not entitled.
The case is being investigated by the United States Secret Service. The case is being prosecuted by Senior Counsel Mysti Degani of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Arnold H. Huftalen of the District of New Hampshire.