Countrywide fraudster gets eight months in prison

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Countrywide fraudster gets eight months in prison

Identity thief ordered to pay $1.2 million.

A former employee of US mortgage company Countrywide Financial was sentenced to eight months in prison and fined $1.2 million in restitution after admitting to stealing and selling customers' personal data.

Rene Rebollo Jr. also receieved a an additional 10 month sentence in a community jail.

Rebollo, a former senior analyst at Countrywide, was charged in 2008 with exceeding authorised access to the company's data, orchestrating a scam to steal customer information and selling it to loan officers from other companies.

Rebollo had initially pleaded innocent but changed his plea in January.

Another defendant, Wahid Siddiqi was previously sentenced to 36 months in prison for selling the information that Rebollo provided.

Authorities said the men downloaded the personal data of 20,000 customers once a week for two years, then sold the identity batches for $500 a piece.

The breach pinned millions of Countrywide customers against the mortgage company, spawning some 35 lawsuits, including a class-action complaint.

Countrywide representatives , however, have denied that anyone fell victim to fraud.

Bank of America, which now owns Countrywide, settled the suits last year by agreeing to provide free credit monitoring for up to 17 million people whose personal data was exposed.

This article originally appeared at scmagazineus.com

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