A former employee of Prudential Insurance has been arrested and charged with stealing the identities of co-workers from a database and selling them over the internet.
Florida resident Donald McNeese allegedly stole the personnel records from the tax department at the Prudential where he was employed in 2000, according to federal officials.
Jim Walden, the assistant US attorney prosecuting the case for the Eastern District of New York, claimed that McNeese posted a message soliciting bidders for the thousands of names and social security numbers that he allegedly put up for sale.
"Does anyone think this kind of info would be valuable enough to sell or trade for card numbers?" the posting asked.
While Walden would not say how many people had money stolen in the scam, he said that it is one of the largest ever potential identity theft cases.
According to the complaint, Detective William Moylan of the Nassau County Police Department, who works for the New York Electronic Crimes Task Force, began tracking McNeese two years ago.
Moylan claims to have replied to McNeese by email and indicated that he was interested in buying the identities for $50 each. It is claimed that several transactions took place between McNeese and the detective.
McNeese has also been charged with credit card fraud and money laundering. The charge claims that McNeese posted some information for free which caused one employee to have $2,000 in fraudulent charges posted to his credit card.
During a search of McNeese's house, investigators seized a computer, a shotgun with a silencer and fake federal identification.
Walden said he expected McNeese, who is in custody in Florida, to be brought to New York for prosecution. If convicted on all counts, McNeese could face 45 years in prison and fines and restitution of up to $750,000.
Prudential was unavailable for comment.
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