Minnesota man gets two-year sentence for soldier identity thefts

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 05, 2014 3:57 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - A Minnesota man who pleaded guilty to identity theft for swiping personal data including Social Security numbers on 400 soldiers from his former U.S. Army unit was sentenced in federal court on Friday to two years in prison.

Keith Novak gave information on about 100 of the soldiers to undercover FBI employees from July 2013 to November 2013 in exchange for two payments totaling $4,000 while he was serving in the Minnesota National Guard, prosecutors said.

He was a leader of a Minnesota-based militia organization who thought he was selling identities to a fellow militia member who turned out to be an FBI employee, according to prosecutors.

Novak pleaded guilty to one count of identity theft in April and was sentenced on Friday by U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz. Novak also received three years supervised release.

He served in Iraq while on active duty in the Army and had joined the Minnesota National Guard in September 2012. His attorneys had sought a sentence of no more than a year, arguing in part that he was disillusioned after serving in Iraq. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of three years and one month.

Novak admitted as part of his agreement that he obtained a personnel roster with identity information including Social Security numbers for about 400 members of his unit at Fort Bragg in North Carolina before his discharge from active duty.

Schiltz recommended that Novak serve the sentence in Minnesota.

(Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Will Dunham)