Private Investigator Who Attempted to Illegally Obtain the President's Federal Tax Information Pleads Guilty
BATON ROUGE, LA – Acting United States Attorney Corey Amundson announced today the conviction of a private investigator who fraudulently used President Donald J. Trump’s personal identifying information, including his social security number, in an attempt to illegally obtain his federal tax information from the Internal Revenue Service
On December 11, 2017, JORDAN HAMLETT, age 32, of Sunset, Louisiana, pled guilty to false representation of a social security number before U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles. HAMLETT faces a five-year term of imprisonment, fines, and a term of supervised release following imprisonment.
During his guilty plea, HAMLETT admitted that on September 13, 2016, he used the President’s social security number to begin an online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA”). After beginning the FAFSA, HAMLETT obtained a Federal Student Aid Identification, a combination of a username and password which allows students and parents to identify themselves electronically to access the FAFSA. Once HAMLETT obtained the Federal Student Aid Identification, he 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. In connection with his attempt to obtain the President’s federal tax information, HAMLETT admitted that he knowingly and falsely declared that the President’s social security number was his own.
Acting U.S. Attorney Amundson stated, “My office, together with our federal, state, and local partners, will continue to aggressively pursue those engaged in the proliferation of identity theft and cybercrime, particularly when involving attempts to fraudulently obtain sensitive information from federal government databases. I commend TIGTA, DOE-OIG, FBI, and the assigned 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. “TIGTA aggressively investigates attempts to illegally access Federal tax information. Mr. Hamlett’s guilty plea 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 for their assistance with this successful prosecution.”
“I’m proud of our staff and our law enforcement colleagues whose efforts brought about today’s actions,” 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. “Mr. Hamlett’s guilty plea should serve as a warning to anyone who misuses the personally identifiable information of others to access protected computer systems for unlawful purposes: you will be caught and held accountable for your criminal actions.”
FBI New Orleans Field Office Special Agent-in-Charge Eric J. Rommal stated: “The FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect our country’s information systems from exploitation and to investigate those who would seek to gain from doing so.”
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, and the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, Technology Crimes Division, with valuable assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ryan Rezaei and Alan Stevens.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office—Cyber Security Initiative
United States v. Hamlett is being prosecuted as part of the USAO’s ongoing Cyber Security Initiative. Begun in 2016, the Cyber Security Initiative brings together resources from various federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, in an effort to investigate and prosecute cyber crime. As a result of the initiative, the USAO has significantly increased the number of cyber investigations and prosecutions. Earlier this year, in United States v. Johnson, the USAO secured a 34-month federal prison sentence for a former systems administrator who hacked into the computer system of a Georgia-Pacific plant located in Port Allen, Louisiana.
The USAO will continue to investigate and prosecute all those who commit cyber crime. For more information about the USAO’s Cyber Security Initiative, please contact Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Rezaei at (225) 389-0443.