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Man faces additional charges in ChoicePoint fraud scheme

Posted by Associated Press on 2005/08/12 | Views: 338 |

Man faces additional charges in ChoicePoint fraud scheme


A Nigerian man who pleaded no contest earlier this year for his role in a fraud ring that stole data from ChoicePoint Inc. faces six additional charges, authorities said.

LOS ANGELES - A Nigerian man who pleaded no contest earlier this year for his role in a fraud ring that stole data from ChoicePoint Inc. faces six additional charges, authorities said.

Olatunji Oluwatosin, 42, was charged last week in Superior Court and has pleaded not guilty to six additional counts of identity theft, conspiracy and grand theft. If convicted of all the charges, he could face up to 18 years in prison.

Oluwatosin remains the only person charged in the scheme, which exposed the Social Security numbers, addresses and other personal data of as many as 145,000 people to identity thieves. Prosecutors said he was arrested in October with five cell phones and three credit cards that belonged to other people.

He pleaded no contest in February to one felony count of identity theft and was sentenced to 16 months in prison.

The new charges allege Oluwatosin was part of a conspiracy with unnamed accomplices that caused at least $2.5 million in damages. The information was then used to open credit card accounts in victims' names and cash advances were withdrawn from ATM machines, prosecutors said.

Following Oluwatosin's arrest, ChoicePoint was required under a new California law to notify people whose personal data might have been viewed during the illegal operations.

ChoicePoint has 19 billion public records that include motor vehicle registrations, license and deed transfers, military records, addresses and Social Security numbers.

Disclosures by the company led to congressional hearings and proposals for tightening regulations on the gathering and dissemination of personal data.

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