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Steve Chiotakis: It’s the biggest case of identification theft ever prosecuted. The Justice Department yesterday accused three men of stealing more than 130 million credit and debit card numbers, and all the account information that goes along with them. From New York, Marketplace’s Alisa Roth reports.
Alisa Roth: This sounds like one for the Hollywood producers. One American and two unnamed Russians reportedly used elaborate techniques to hack into the systems of five different companies and steal account information. They allegedly sold some of the numbers online. They used others to buy stuff and take money out of bank accounts.
The companies include 7-Eleven, and a chain of regional grocery stores. But the men reportedly used lists of Fortune 500 companies to decide which ones to break into.
The American, Albert Gonzalez, has a long rap sheet for other, similar crimes — including taking tens of millions of card numbers from TJX, the company that owns T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. He’s been in custody for more than a year. If they’re convicted, the three men could get up to 35 years in prison and be made to pay large fines.
In New York, I’m Alisa Roth for Marketplace.
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