Calif. man sentenced in Countrywide ID theft scam

AP News
Posted: Sep 28, 2011 10:54 PM
Calif. man sentenced in Countrywide ID theft scam

A former senior analyst for Countrywide Home Loans was sentenced Wednesday to eight months behind bars for downloading and selling the personal information of some 2.5 million customers in a scam that cost the mortgage lender some $30 million.

U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder also ordered Rene Rebollo, 39, of Pasadena, Calif., to serve another 10 months in a community correctional facility and to pay $1.2 million in restitution to Countrywide, which is now owned by Bank of America.

Rebollo was arrested in 2008 after FBI investigators found that he was using a flash drive to download data from about 20,000 customers a week for two years.

Rebollo then sold the information to Wahid Siddiqi, 28, formerly of Thousand Oaks, for $500 and earned a combined $50,000, federal investigators said. He later pleaded guilty to unlawfully disclosing Social Security numbers in at least 50,000 instances.

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Siddiqi is serving a 3-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to fraud and admitted to selling the information to third parties, including an undercover FBI agent.

The FBI says the data breach cost Countrywide considerable expenses, including $1.2 million to notify customers whose information was disclosed, $15.75 to provide free credit monitoring to those people and $13.4 million in lawsuit settlements.