Former Department of Children’s Services Employees Sentenced for Unlawfully Accessing Confidential Information
Memphis, TN – Two Memphis women who used to work for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) have been found guilty and sentenced for unlawfully accessing confidential information on the Department’s computers. Lawrence J. Laurenzi, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentences today.
According to information presented in court, on May 17, 2016, former DCS employee Rubbie King, 48, of Memphis, contacted a friend who still worked at the agency and caused the friend, Bernice Gunn-Davis, 58, to access the file of a minor child in the Department’s care. King’s daughter was involved with Marcus Ross, who faces charges of rape, aggravated statutory rape, aggravated child abuse, and sex trafficking in connection with the minor whose file was accessed. Neither King nor Gunn-Davis had authority to review the contents of the minor’s file. Ross’ case is pending in Shelby County Criminal Court.
King was convicted of conspiracy to access a protected computer without authorization and obtain information, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. On March 17, 2017, the Honorable Judge Sheryl H. Lipman sentenced King to serve an eighteen-month term of supervised release, with the first three months on home confinement. This is a felony conviction.
Gunn-Davis was convicted of exceeding authorized access to a protected computer to obtain information, a misdemeanor violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1030 (a) (2) (c). On March 27, 2017, Judge Lipman sentenced Gunn-Davis to one year of probation. Gunn-Davis is no longer associated with DCS.
DCS is the state of Tennessee’s public child welfare agency. It investigates allegations of child abuse and neglect; administers the state’s foster care system; works to establish permanency for children that come into the Department’s care; and serves youth who have been adjudicated delinquent. DCS case files are designated confidential by state law. It is a state crime to disclose confidential information about children or families involved with DCS.
The case was investigated by the FBI cybercrime unit, with the assistance of the Department of Children’s Services.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Ireland prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.