Arrests Made in ID Theft Ring Affecting Service Members


Federal investigators in Seoul, South Korea, have made arrests in an identity theft scheme that allegedly involved thousands of U.S. service-members and veterans that also reportedly involved members of at least one credit union, reports

As reported here, the data breach is suspected to include information on at least 38,000 U.S.-issued payment cards, according to an alert distributed by the Eighth Army via its Facebook page.

Prosecutors are alleging a former medical records technician, Fredrick Brown, a civilian who had previously served at an Army base in South Korea, along with four associates, took digital photos of the personal information of military-connected individuals logged in a medical records system. Brown allegedly then shared the photos with associates who are accused of then breaking into victims' internal Defense Department accounts and stealing sensitive banking information.

Brown, along with four other defendants, allegedly stole and exploited the personal information of thousands of current and former members of the military.

"These defendants are alleged to have illegally defrauded some of America's most honorable citizens, our elderly and disabled veterans and servicemembers," Attorney General William Barr said in a statement. "Through today's action, the Department is honoring our pledge to target elder fraud schemes, especially those committed by foreign actors using sophisticated means, and to protect the veterans of our great country."

Brown was arrested in Las Vegas and is being detained pending trial, the Justice Department said. Three other alleged members of the ring, including an Australian and a South Korean citizen, were arrested in the Philippines, prosecutors said.

The charges include multiple counts of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, as well as conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.