Hundreds of thousands of New York area bank customers have been victimized in what appears to be the largest breach of data security in banking
history. The perpetrators allegedly stole customer information from bank computers and sold that information, through a middleman, to collection
agencies and lawyers. The lawyers then used the information to fraudulently seize assets belonging to the victims. The mastermind behind the scheme,
Orazio Lembo, was discovered to be in possession of this information when police raided his computers on unrelated charges. So far, 9 people have
been arrested and charged.
The eight other individuals allegedly involved in the scheme include employees of Bank Of America, Commerce Bank, Wachovia Bank, PNC Bank and one who
worked for the New Jersey Department of Labor. Most were paid $10 for each account they tapped into to acquire bank statements and employment
Margarete Meyers, Bank Customer: "To think that for such a low price they would break the laws of their employment, and it's unethical and
everything else. I'm really sorry to hear about it."
Orazio Lembo lived in a high rise apartment building on Prospect Avenue in Hackensack where he ran a firm advertised as DRL Associates. Police had
gone there to investigate a possible check scandal and when they tapped into 13 of Lembo's computers they discovered the major breach of banking
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
It's amazing what sort of damage a few dedicated criminals can cause. If this was just 9 individuals (I suspect it may have been more), they did
enough damage for 900. The process of sorting the information stolen, adressing the usage of it that may have occured, identifying those who received
it, and bringing all the relevant charges is a prosecutor's nightmare. They would need a dedicated team of several hundred lawyers and clerks just
to make headway through the hundreds of thousands of names. Contacting the victims alone is a daunting task, nevermind involving them in the process
of prosecution, or ironing out restitution.
This is going to be an absolute disaster, even now that the perpetrators have been caught! Once information gets out, it can't be put away again.
That data is free now, and it will spread like monkey pox.
This goes beyond anything previously experienced. I imagine the D.A. is enjoying several stiff drinks right now, trying to figure out where to go
from here. We got the guys..great. Now what? I can't begin to imagine how this situation will be resolved. I suppose it will just be swept under
the rug and forgotten before too long. Meanwhile, the victims receive no justice. That would be shameful indeed. Unfortunately, I see it as the
most likely outcome.
[edit on 29-4-2005 by WyrdeOne]