FBI arrests Countrywide Financial analyst for data theft

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The FBI has arrested two men and charged them with stealing customer information from the servers of US mortgage lender Countrywide Financial.

The FBI has arrested two men and charged them with stealing customer information from the servers of mortgage lender Countrywide Financial.

Rene L Rebollo Jr, 36, of Pasadena, a former employee of Countrywide Home Loan, has admitted downloading the information and selling it to third parties over a number of years. The agents also arrested Wahid Siddiqi, 25, of Thousand Oaks, who was attempting to buy the data.

Rebollo said he got the information from Countrywide computers while working for the company as a senior analyst and removed it on flash drives he bought for the purpose, according to the FBI.

He then opened a personal bank account specifically for depositing the proceeds of the sales. He estimates the actions made him approximately US$50,000 to US$70,000.

He said he was sometimes asked to get specific information about individuals and did so for cash.

Siddiqi was caught after negotiating with a confidential witness to buy data, taking delivery of it once it had been burnt onto a CD and paying in cash.

Rebollo is charged with exceeding authorised access to the computer of a financial institution, a charge that carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.

Siddiqi is charged with fraud and related activity in connection with access devices, a crime that carries a statutory maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
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