Healthcare matters can involve a whole host of medical and legal complications. At best, these issues may affect you financially; at worst, they could mean the difference between life and death. Whether you go to the hospital for a routine procedure or an emergency, there are steps you can take to help avoid complications.
1. Have an up-to-date Medical Power of Attorney or Advanced Medical Directive (“Living Will”). In the event you cannot make medical decisions yourself, these documents entrust decisions about your care to a person you designate. Advise your family of your designation so that person is notified when decisions must be made.
2. Make sure your name, identifying information and all other information is completely accurate at each doctor’s appointment, outpatient surgery and hospitalization. Serious problems involving medical care sometimes begin as simple clerical errors. A small error can create a major treatment crisis. Reduce the chance of error by carefully reviewing all your doctor’s office or hospital admissions paperwork. During hospitalization check your hospital wristband for errors.
Continue reading at LegalShield.com....
"Learning that my personal information had been stolen and fraudulently used to apply for credit from several companies was a living nightmare, until I spoke with my Kroll investigator. She immediately emailed a packet of information for me to complete and return, and I now feel assured and confident that my credit records will be protected. Thank you!!" — C.W., Florida member
To learn more about IDShield identity theft protection services, our to become a member, visit our LegalShield/IDShield page.
With the Equifax data breach people are now realizing Identity Theft is REAL.
I have been marketing the IDShield Protection Plan for over ten years, and realize the importance of this plan.
Please take a look: https://w3.legalshield.com/aasites/Multisite?site=idt&assoc=jdross
An advanced hacking and cyberespionage campaign against high-value targets has returned.
The so-called 'DarkHotel' group has been active for over a decade, with a signature brand of cybercrime that targets business travellers with malware attacks, using the Wi-Fi in luxury hotels across the globe.
Hotel Wi-Fi hotspots are compromised in order to help deliver the payload to the selected pool of victims. The exact methods of compromise remain uncertain, but cybersecurity experts believe it involves attackers remotely exploiting vulnerabilities in server software or infiltrating the hotel and gaining physical access to the machines.
Those behind the campaign have continually evolved their tactics and malware payloads, blending phishing and social engineering with a complex Trojan, in order to conduct espionage on corporate research and development personnel, CEOs, and other high-ranking corporate officials.
But now the actors behind DarkHotel have changed tactics again, using a new form of malware known as Inexsmar to attack political targets. Researchers at Bitdefender -- who've analysed the malware strain -- have linked the Inexsmar campaign to DarkHotel because of similarities with payloads delivered by previous campaigns.
Read more at ZDNet....
The man running Sweden’s biggest security firm was declared bankrupt this week after his identity was hacked.
Though the sub-optimal branding implications were hard to miss, Securitas AB was able to put the whole awkward incident behind it by the end of the day.
Alf Goransson, the company’s 59-year-old chief executive officer since 2007, won an appeal of the July 10 bankruptcy decision by the Stockholm District Court, according to a statement late Wednesday. The perpetrator used the CEO’s identity to seek a loan of an undisclosed amount, after which a bankruptcy application was filed in his name. The identity theft took place in March. Goransson didn’t know he’d been hacked until this week, the company said.
The hack attack “has no effect on the company, other than that our CEO has been declared bankrupt,” spokeswoman Gisela Lindstrand said. “And that will hopefully only last until later today, depending on how soon they can remove the decision.”
Continue reading at MarketWatch.com....
From Atlanta's Fox 5 News
Chipotle announced that the restaurant's data breach was worse than they originally thought.
The company said most of its more than 2,200 restaurants were hit by malware between March 24 and April 18. Chipotle said they are still not sure how many cards or customers were affected by the breach.
Stolen data included account numbers and internal verification codes. The malware has since been removed.
Officials are warning customers to keep an eye on their bank statements because the thieves might have the ability to clone your credit or debit card.
Chipotle said 46 locations in Georgia were affected. Those are:
For more information visit chipotle.com/security.
The math behind your credit score is getting an overhaul, with changes big enough that they might alter the behavior of both cautious spenders as well as riskier borrowers.
Most notably for those with high scores: Abiding by the golden rule of "don't close your credit card accounts" may now hurt your standing. On the other side, those with low scores may benefit from the removal of civil judgments, medical debts and tax liens as factors.
Beyond determining whether someone gets approved for a credit card, a credit score can affect what interest rate and what spending limit are offered.
The new method is being implemented later this year by VantageScore, a company created by the credit bureaus Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. It's not as well-known as Fair Isaac Corp., whose FICO score is used for the vast majority of mortgages. But VantageScore handled 8 billion account applications last year, so if you applied for a credit card, that score was likely used to approve or deny you.
Using what's known as trended data is the biggest change. The phrase means credit scores will take into account the trajectory of a borrower's debts on a month-to-month basis. So a person who is paying down debt is now likely to be scored better than a person who is making minimum monthly payments but has been slowly accumulating credit card debt.
"This is a really big deal," said John Ulzheimer, an expert in credit reports and credit scoring. Ulzheimer said taking trended data into account has long been considered by the credit score industry, but hasn't been implemented on a meaningful scale. He expects more lenders to adopt it.
Continue reading at WMAZ-TV.com....
Since Yahoo disclosed two mega-breaches late last year, its executives have met almost daily with CEO Marissa Mayer for working sessions focused on improving the company’s cybersecurity posture. Employees have also received weekly security presentations from Yahoo CISO Bob Lord at the company’s all-hands meetings. The new working sessions and briefings are part of an internal effort to promote a security culture as the company approaches its upcoming acquisition by Verizon.
But the executive-level concern over security may be seen as too little, too late by a Senate committee that is questioning Yahoo on its reaction to the breaches. Data from over 1 billion accounts was stolen from Yahoo in 2013, data from 500 million accounts was stolen in 2014, and attackers used forged cookies to access user accounts without a password in 2015 and 2016.
Senators John Thune and Jerry Moran sent Yahoo a stern letter earlier this month demanding answers about the company’s response to the breaches after Yahoo canceled a scheduled briefing with staff from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. The committee sought information about “the nature of the incident, those affected, and steps the company had taken to identify and mitigate consumer harm, beyond what was already known publicly.” Yahoo has finally responded with a handful of new details about the massive security incidents.
Continue reading at TechCrunch.com....
1. Use unique passwords for all your accounts
What: Stop kidding yourself that you only re-use passwords on accounts that don’t matter, or that you have an unbreakable password scheme that no one else can guess. Every single thing with a password needs to have a unique password, shared with nothing else.
Why: Services get hacked, with entire databases of passwords published in the open. People get “phished”, tricked into entering their passwords into shady imitations of the sites they intended to visit. If this happens, you want to limit the damage, ensuring that only one site gets breached.
How: Unless you absolutely categorically have a reason not to…
2. Use a password manager
What: Software like LastPass (free) or 1Password ($2.99/month or $49), which will store your passwords, generate secure random ones for you, and sync them across multiple devices.
Why: If you can memorise all your passwords, you can almost guarantee that they aren’t varied enough to be secure. A password manager may feel like putting all your eggs in one basket, but it’s a padded secure basket kept up-to-date by the best minds in the basket business, and what you’re doing right now is more like juggling the eggs above your head while blindfolded.
How: Download the password manager, install it on your desktop (you can do mobile later), and start running it. You don’t even have to change your passwords all at once: the manager will notice when you log in, and ask you whether you want to save the new password. That should be your cue to create a new one.
Continue reading at The Guardian...
California Attorney General Kamala Harris has launched an investigation into allegations that Wells Fargo & Co. engaged in criminal identity theft when the bank created millions of accounts without customer consent, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The report is based on a search warrant, served on Oct. 5 and first obtained by the Times, in which Harris' office demands the identities and account information of California customers who had "any accounts, credit cards, life insurance, or other product or service" created without the customer's authorization.
The warrant also demands the names of bank employees who opened the unauthorized accounts and the identities of the employees' managers, including "any and all communications, including email referencing" the bogus accounts.
Harris' office is seeking the same information for Wells Fargo customers who do not live in California.
Continue reading at NPR.org....
Healthcare executives’ “lackadaisical approach” to cybersecurity endangers the lives and futures of breach victims, who have little help or recourse for dealing with identity theft, according to a new report from the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology.
It looks at how healthcare information is exploited on the Dark Web, with the data often being sold multiple times. Such information also can continue to be sold for the rest of the victim’s life, the authors say in their tersely worded report, adding that "for some, such as children, this can drastically hinder their future financial stability and limit the potential lives that they could lead.”
The report lays out testimony the organization will present at a Senate hearing on Sept. 22.
The authors also in the report write about cases where health security breaches negatively impacted individuals.
One example is a woman had a baby in Utah using the stolen medical identity of Anndorie Cromar to pay for the services. When the child was born with drugs in its system, Child Protective Services took custody of it and, assuming Cromar was a drug addict and negligent parent, went after custody of the real Anndorie Cromar’s other children. Cromar had to undergo a DNA test to remove her name from the infant’s birth certificate, and she spent years correcting her medical records. Read more at Fierce Healthcare....
Hundreds of millions of hacked user names and passwords for email accounts and other websites are being traded in Russia’s criminal underworld, a security expert told Reuters.
The discovery of 272.3 million stolen accounts included a majority of users of Mail.ru <MAILRq.L>, Russia’s most popular email service, and smaller fractions of Google <GOOGL.O>, Yahoo <YHOO.O> and Microsoft <MSFT.O> email users, said Alex Holden, founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security.
It is one of the biggest stashes of stolen credentials to be uncovered since cyber attacks hit major U.S. banks and retailers two years ago.
Holden was previously instrumental in uncovering some of the world’s biggest known data breaches, affecting tens of millions of users at Adobe Systems <ADBE.O>, JPMorgan <JPM.N> and Target <TGT.N> and exposing them to subsequent cyber crimes.
The latest discovery came after Hold Security researchers found a young Russian hacker bragging in an online forum that he had collected and was ready to give away a far larger number of stolen credentials that ended up totalling 1.17 billion records.
After eliminating duplicates, Holden said, the cache contained nearly 57 million Mail.ru accounts – a big chunk of the 64 million monthly active email users Mail.ru said it had at the end of last year. It also included tens of millions of credentials for the world’s three big email providers, Gmail, Microsoft and Yahoo, plus hundreds of thousands of accounts at German and Chinese email providers.
“This information is potent. It is floating around in the underground and this person has shown he’s willing to give the data away to people who are nice to him,” said Holden, the former chief security officer at U.S. brokerage R.W. Baird. “These credentials can be abused multiple times,” he said. Continue reading at One America News Network....
Wendy’s, the nationwide chain of fast-food restaurants, says it is investigating claims of a possible credit card breach at some locations. The acknowledgment comes in response to questions from KrebsOnSecurity about banking industry sources who discovered a pattern of fraud on cards that were all recently used at various Wendy’s locations.
Bob Bertini, spokesperson for the Dublin, Ohio-based restauranteur, said the company began receiving reports earlier this month from its payment industry contacts about a potential breach and that Wendy’s has hired a security firm to investigate the claims.
“We have received this month from our payment industry contacts reports of unusual activity involving payment cards at some of our restaurant locations,” Bertini said. “Reports indicate that fraudulent charges may have occurred elsewhere after the cards were legitimately used at some of our restaurants. We’ve hired a cybersecurity firm and launched a comprehensive and active investigation that’s underway to try to determine the facts.” Read more at Krebs on Security
Sources at multiple financial institutions say they are tracking a pattern of fraud indicating that thieves have somehow compromised the credit card terminals at checkout lanes within multiple Safeway stores in California and Colorado. Safeway confirmed it is investigating skimming incidents at several stores.
Banking sources say they’ve been trying to figure out why so many customers in the Denver and Englewood areas of Colorado were seeing their debit cards drained of cash at ATMs after shopping at Safeways there. The sources compared notes and found that all of the affected customers had purchased goods from one of several specific lanes in different compromised stores (the transaction data includes a “terminal ID” which can be useful in determining which checkout lanes were compromised.
Safeway spokesperson Brian Dowling said the fraud was limited to a handful of stores, and that the company has processes and procedures in place to protect customers from fraudulent activity. Read more at Krebs on Security....
Hackers who stole sensitive customer information from the cheating site AshleyMadison.com appear to have made good on their threat to post the data online.
A data dump, 9.7 gigabytes in size, was posted on Tuesday to the dark web using an Onion address accessible only through the Tor browser. The files appear to include account details and log-ins for some 32 million users of the social networking site, touted as the premier site for married individuals seeking partners for affairs. Seven years worth of credit card and other payment transaction details are also part of the dump, going back to 2007. The data, which amounts to millions of payment transactions, includes names, street address, email address and amount paid, but not credit card numbers; instead it includes four digits for each transaction that may be the last four digits of the credit card or simply a transaction ID unique to each charge. AshleyMadison.com claimed to have nearly 40 million users at the time of the breach about a month ago, all apparently in the market for clandestine hookups.
“Ashley Madison is the most famous name in infidelity and married dating,” the site asserts on its homepage. “Have an Affair today on Ashley Madison. Thousands of cheating wives and cheating husbands signup everyday looking for an affair…. With Our affair guarantee package we guarantee you will find the perfect affair partner.”
The data released by the hackers includes names, addresses and phone numbers submitted by users of the site, though it’s unclear if members provided legitimate details. A sampling of the data indicates that users likely provided random numbers and addresses, but files containing credit card transactions will yield real names and addresses, unless members of the site used anonymous pre-paid cards. One analysis of email addresses found in the data dump also shows that some 15,000 are .mil. or .gov addresses. Continue reading at Wired.com.
KYC (Know Your Customer) compliance, the regulatory standards that demand to know who you are and what you are doing with your money, are being adopted by Bitcoin exchanges more and more. But with hacks as large as the OPM hack and the high costs of Identity theft, is this secure?
KYC, AML and ABC (Anti-bribery and corruption) compliance are water to the sharks, whales and bubble fish of the financial industry. The collection of customer identity and activity data is such a tradition that even during a recession, the compliance officer industry is booming. Regulator's role is to pressure banks and exchanges into compliance, while law enforcement attempts to hook onto the bigger fish.
This relationship has intensified over recent years with increased pressure on financial institutions to collect and mine user generated data. This is driven in part by a large uptick of 'financial crimes' and fraud of the legacy financial system.
According to BankTech, “'In 2011 banks and financial institutions generated more than one million SARS (Suspicious Activity Reports), of which the IRS reviewed 775,000. Thus far in 2012, the IRS has reviewed 500,000 SARS with case size in the hundreds of millions of dollars.” Producing a steady income for lawyers and the compliance industry in general.
BankTech adds that “Among the growing and most troubling trends is the double income tax return refund fraud. The IRS has seen a disturbing number of cases of identity theft where social security numbers and other personal information are stolen -- usually by well-organized Eastern European crime networks -- and used to submit a duplicate tax return and claim a refund.” There were 500 cases prosecuted in 2012.
This is believed to be because of growing dependence on the Internet to expand the effectiveness of financial services, both corporate and governmental. Many government websites today take in claims through automated forms, and most major banks are heavy on online banking.
The problem is that their security rests on a foundation that is continually being shaken, that of third parties securely handling customer's personal information. And with online and telephone means of accessing financial services growing, the value of individual's personal information is also on the rise. Particularly to those willing to commit identity theft. Continue reading at The CoinTelegraph....
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The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said Monday a hacking attack into one of its computer databases revealed in May was much more extensive than previously thought, with nearly three times as many taxpayers hit by data theft.
The IRS said in late May the tax return information of about 114,000 U.S. taxpayers had been illegally accessed by cyber criminals over the preceding four months, with another 111,000 unsuccessful attempts made.
A new review has identified 220,000 additional incidents where data was breached, the tax collection agency said. It identified another 170,000 suspected failed attempts by third parties to gain access to taxpayer data.
The attackers sought to gain access to personal tax information through the agency’s “Get Transcript” online application, which allowed taxpayers to call up information from previous returns. The system was shut down after the May attacks.
“The IRS believes some of this information may have been gathered for potentially filing fraudulent tax returns during the upcoming 2016 filing season,” the agency said in a statement. Continue reading at One America News....
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The hackers who stole data on tens of millions of U.S. insurance holders and government employees in recent months breached another big target at around the same time -- United Airlines.
United, the world’s second-largest airline, detected an incursion into its computer systems in May or early June, said several people familiar with the probe. According to three of these people, investigators working with the carrier have linked the attack to a group of China-backed hackers they say are behind several other large heists -- including the theft of security-clearance records from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and medical data from health insurer Anthem Inc.
The previously unreported United breach raises the possibility that the hackers now have data on the movements of millions of Americans, adding airlines to a growing list of strategic U.S. industries and institutions that have been compromised. Among the cache of data stolen from United are manifests -- which include information on flights’ passengers, origins and destinations -- according to one person familiar with the carrier’s investigation.
It’s increasingly clear, security experts say, that China’s intelligence apparatus is amassing a vast database. Files stolen from the federal personnel office by this one China-based group could allow the hackers to identify Americans who work in defense and intelligence, including those on the payrolls of contractors. U.S. officials believe the group has links to the Chinese government, people familiar with the matter have said. Read more at Bloomberg....
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An Arizona woman has been sent to jail for six years for masterminding a tax rebate scam which used Facebook to find and target unemployed people for identity theft.
34-year-old Elaine Monique Zavala-Charres of Winslow, Arizona scammed over $400,000 out of the US revenue system, and on top of her jail sentence will have to pay a similar amount, $411,309, back in restitution as well as spending another three years in "supervised release" at the end of her spell inside.
A co-conspirator of Zavala-Charres, 27-year-old Lacey Hollinger of Massena, New York, used social media including Facebook to pick out likely locals, who she then contacted, posing as a government representative working on an economic stimulus program.
"Several dozen" people responded to Hollinger, providing plenty of sensitive personal information for use in identity theft. This information was then passed on to Zavala-Charres, who pooled it with additional data harvested from Arizona locals by other members of the team, and then used the pile of identity info to make multiple tax claims.
Most of the identities used belonged to unemployed people, presumably to minimize the risk that the scam would be spotted early - in many cases of ID theft tax refund scams, the targets are not aware that their information has been taken and made use of until they try to submit their own tax returns later in the tax year. Continue reading at Naked Security....
Tracy Mitchell was sentenced to about 13 years in prison on Friday for her role in a stolen identity theft ring, which involved more than 1,000 stolen identities, 9,000 false tax returns, which claimed more than $24 million and resulted in about $9 million paid out by the IRS in fraudulent refunds.
“The amount of money involved (in this scheme) is mind boggling,” said U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose.
Mitchell, a Phenix City woman who was employed at the hospital at Fort Benning, was considered one of the ring leaders of the eight co-defendants who were also sentenced for this crime. She was responsible for stealing the identities of 99 soldiers, some of whom were deployed to Afghanistan when their identities were stolen.
Family of the victims wrote the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama, describing the effect of this crime.
“This news was devastating, to think that my 19-year-old son, who was defending the very freedom this country stands for, was wronged by one of those people he was willing to die for,” one mother wrote. Continue reading at the Montgomery Advertiser....
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Moonlighting on the job, a Miami-Dade County cop wrote 159 police reports claiming people with bad credit histories were “victims” of identity theft, according to court records.
The reality: Veteran Miami-Dade police officer George Price fabricated the reports and sold them so they could be used to remove blemishes from the purported victims' credit histories.
Price, 42, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge Friday for his supporting role in an alleged credit-repair ring. Price, who joined the force in 1999, must resign by next week.
He faces up to 20 years in prison on his fraud conviction, but is expected to receive a significantly shorter sentence because he pleaded guilty and has agreed to assist the FBI and U.S. attorney’s office in their investigation, according to a plea deal signed by Price, his defense attorney, Marshall Dore Louis, and the prosecutor, Michael Davis. Read more at the Miami Herald....
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Odessa, Texas police are dealing with an increasing problem of people possessing fake government-issued IDs and many are believed to be illegal aliens.
The Odessa Police Department says they are seeing these cases “weekly and sometimes even on a daily basis,” NewsWest 9 reports. Fraudulent use or possession of identifying information can include having a fake social security card, fake resident card, or fake Texas drivers license.
“If we come in contact with someone or even arrest somebody, we’re not going to ask that person if they’re an illegal alien. However, if it is determined that somebody is possibly illegal, then they basically get booked into the jail and they can be turned over to Homeland Security,” Cpl. Steve LeSueur of the Odessa PD says.
LeSueur says it’s usually pretty easy to spot the fakes. Continue reading at the American Mirror....
A Troy, Alabama, man was sentenced to prison yesterday in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama for his involvement in a stolen identity tax refund fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. of the Middle District of Alabama, and Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division.
Devon Tucker, 31, a former jailer of the Troy Police Department at the city jail, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade sentenced Tucker to serve 32 months in prison and three years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay $13,162 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
According to court documents, from January 2014 to January 2015, Tucker stole the personal identification information of approximately 150 individuals who were processed into the Troy city jail. Tucker provided those identities to his co-conspirators for the purpose of filing false federal income tax returns claiming fraudulent refunds from the U.S. Treasury. Tucker was paid in pre-paid debit cards in the names of the identity theft victims for his involvement in the scheme. Read more at WTVY....
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According to the Federal Trade Commission’s 2014 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, identity theft once again tops consumer complaint categories in 2014. Identity theft can be committed in many ways: from non-technical methods such as stealing purses or “dumpster diving” for documents that have been thrown away that contain sensitive data; to technical methods such as deceptive phishing e-mails that include malware containing spyware or Trojan horses.
When it comes to phishing and social engineering scams, scammers use fake email addresses and websites to try to make them look like they are coming from a legitimate organization. They try to gain your trust and will then trick you into divulging personal information. Even if you don’t divulge any info, malware downloaded from clicking suspicious links, downloading fake apps or attachments, or visiting suspicious websites can still penetrate your computer and install keystroke loggers to steal data or capture account credentials as you type them. Read more at the Norton website....
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The following is a press release from the U.S. Dept. of Justice, July 31, 2015
Houston, Texas -- Thirteen members of the Texas Guard have received their sentences for their roles in wide-ranging bribery and fraud schemes that caused more than $170,000 in losses to the United States. Seven of those members were sentenced this past week in Houston.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas made the announcement.
U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal in the Southern District of Texas imposed the prison terms and also ordered all 13 defendants to pay restitution. One remaining defendant, Danielle Applin 29, of Harker Heights, Texas, who previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of bribery, is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 2, 2015, in Houston.
In approximately September 2005, the National Guard Bureau entered into a contract with Document and Packaging Broker Inc. to administer the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP). Through this program, a participating soldier, known as a recruiting assistant, could receive bonus payments for referring another individual to join the National Guard. Based on certain milestones achieved by the referred soldier, a participating soldier would receive payment through direct deposit into the participating soldier’s designated bank account. To participate in the program, recruiting assistants were required to create online accounts.
According to the evidence presented at trial and in connection with various guilty pleas, Phillips and Davis, both of whom participated in the G-RAP as recruiting assistants, conspired with Martin, a recruiter, to defraud the program by falsely claiming that they were responsible for referring potential soldiers to join the National Guard. The trial evidence showed that Martin used his position to obtain the names and Social Security numbers of potential soldiers which he provided to recruiting assistants so that they could use the information to obtain fraudulent recruiting referral bonuses. The evidence at trial showed that, in exchange for the information, Martin, who organized and led the scheme, personally received approximately $15,000 in payments from the recruiting assistants. This scheme resulted in more than $30,000 in losses to the National Guard Bureau.
In a separate scheme that resulted in an additional $70,000 in losses, recruiting assistants Antoine, Millien, Moraida and Renfro admitted to paying Rambaran, a recruiter who organized and led the scheme, for the personal information of potential soldiers. They then used that information to obtain fraudulent bonuses by falsely claiming they referred those individuals to join the National Guard. Rambaran admitted that, in exchange for the recruit information, he personally received a total of approximately $29,000 in payments from the recruiting assistants.
In connection with his guilty plea in a scheme he organized and led, Duncan, a recruiter, admitted he personally received approximately $24,000 in payments from recruiting assistants in exchange for personal information of potential soldiers. Those recruiting assistants – Ceja, Chambers, Hartgraves and Hawkins – admitted to paying Duncan for the information and using it to obtain fraudulent bonuses by falsely claiming they referred those individuals to join the National Guard. This scheme resulted in another $70,000 in losses to the National Guard Bureau.
The cases were investigated by the San Antonio Fraud Resident Agency of Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit. These cases are being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Sean F. Mulryne, Heidi Boutros Gesch and Mark J. Cipolletti of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pearson of the Southern District of Texas.
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