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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Former Blackstone Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing Customers’ Personal Information

BOSTON – A former Blackstone woman pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with her role in a scheme to steal personal information from clients of her former employer. 

Jasmine Banks, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft and access device fraud.  U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin scheduled sentencing for June 22, 2016.

In 2014, Banks was a customer service employee for Mercer, Inc., in Norwood, and assisted customers with retirement plans that were administered by Mercer.  In connection with her work, she had access to detailed account information and personally identifiable information (PII) for customers’ accounts.    From February 2014 through April 2014, Banks accessed Mercer account information at her computer and provided the names, addresses, and bank account of approximately 270 Mercer account holders to one of her co-conspirators via email and text message.  In many cases, she also provided dates of birth and social security numbers.  In addition, Banks selected 401(k) accounts with large balances and sent the co-conspirator detailed account access information for four of them.  Based on the information Banks provided, a fraudulent withdrawal of $23,485 was made from one of the retirement accounts. 

Mercer fully cooperated with law enforcement to prevent further account breaches and withdrawals.

The charge provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss, whichever is greater.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Lisa A. Quinn, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. D’Addio of Ortiz’s Cybercrime Unit.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated March 30, 2016