Correctional officers have the job of monitoring people who are incarcerated in local, state or federal correctional institutions. Because they are responsible for tracking the activities of these individuals, they often have access to personal information through facility databases. An article posted on Miami.CBSLocal.com tells about one correctional officer in Florida who used his position to steal the identities of inmates in order to file fraudulent income tax returns.
The story states that for more than three years, the correctional officer was able to obtain the personal identification information of current and former prisoners by cutting and pasting data from a correctional facility database. He used the personal information to file 182 bogus tax returns, requesting a total of more than $500,000 in tax refunds. (The article does not state whether or not he was able to collect any of the refunds.)The 26-year-old former prison guard pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft for his illegal actions. He will serve more than four years in jail as a result.
This case just goes to prove that fraudsters don’t discriminate when choosing victims — they can be living or dead, wealthy or poor and imprisoned or free. (All that matters is that they have an identity worth stealing.) It looks like the tables have now turned and this fraudster now finds himself on the inside of a jail cell instead of guarding one.