Private Investigator Receives 18-Month Prison Sentence for Illegally Using The President's Social Security Number in an Attempt to Obtain Federal Tax Information
BATON ROUGE, LA – United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced that U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles sentenced JORDAN HAMLETT, age 32, to eighteen (18) months in federal prison and two years of supervised release following his conviction for false representation of a social security number. HAMLETT was also ordered to pay $14,794.96 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Education and a $100 special assessment.
As the defendant previously admitted in connection with his guilty plea, on September 13, 2016, less than two months before the November 2016 election, the defendant used the President’s social security number to begin an online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA”). After beginning the FAFSA, HAMLETT unlawfully used the Internal Revenue Service’s Data Retrieval Tool in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain the President’s federal tax information from IRS servers. The defendant made six separate attempts to obtain the protected information.
U.S. Attorney Fremin stated, “Attempts to obtain federal tax information of any American through fraudulent or deceptive practices by illegally using personal identifying information will not be tolerated. Every American up to and including the President of the United States should enjoy a certain level of comfort knowing that his personal identifying information is not being used for illicit purposes. This office, together with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners, will continue to aggressively pursue those engaged in identity theft and cybercrime. Today’s sentence should send a strong signal to those who would misuse the identities of others that identity theft and the misrepresentation of a Social Security number are serious crimes that carry serious consequences. I commend TIGTA, DOE-OIG, FBI, SSA-OIG, and our prosecutors for their outstanding collective efforts on this important matter.”
“The protection of confidential taxpayer information is among the most important responsibilities of the Internal Revenue Service and my agency," said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. “Mr. Hamlett’s sentencing should serve as a reminder to those who attempt to steal sensitive taxpayer information that they will be held accountable. TIGTA would like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners at the FBI and Education-OIG for their assistance with this successful prosecution.”
“This sentence underscores the seriousness with which the U.S. Government takes the unauthorized access of its protected computer systems and the misuse of personally identifiable information,” said Robert Mancuso, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, Technology Crimes Division, the OIG unit that works to protect U.S. Department of Education programs and network infrastructure by investigating technology crimes. “The OIG and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively pursue anyone who unlawfully accesses or abuses protected Department of Education data systems.”
FBI Special-Agent-in-Charge Eric J. Rommal stated, “The FBI will vigorously investigate criminals who exploit government information systems using other’s personally identifiable information, in full cooperation with our law enforcement stakeholders."
This matter is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the U.S. Department of Education—Office of Inspector General’s Technology Crimes Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case received valuable contributions from the United States Social Security Administration and the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ryan Rezaei and Alan Stevens.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office—Cyber Security Initiative
In early 2016, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana launched a new Cyber Security Initiative. The initiative brings together resources from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Division, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Treasury (including both the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations Division and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration), the U.S. Department of Education, the Louisiana State Police, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office, and other federal, state, and local agencies.
Through a law enforcement working group, the initiative assembles agents and other personnel from across Louisiana and the region to assess and share information about incoming reports of cyber incidents affecting the Middle District, and evaluate law enforcement’s response. The initiative also includes a significant investment in outreach aimed at fostering greater collaboration between private industry and law enforcement and encouraging immediate reporting of cyber incidents. Team members routinely contribute to InfraGard Louisiana, a partnership between the FBI and the private sector that works to protect critical infrastructure.
For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Cyber Security Initiative, please contact Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Rezaei at (225) 389-0443.