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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Frederick Man Admits To Fraudulently Accessing His Former Employer’s Computer System

Fraudulently Copied Personal Information on Over 11,000 Clients

Baltimore, Maryland – Alexander Afonso, age 40, of Frederick, Maryland, pleaded guilty yesterday to identity theft.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to his plea agreement, Afonso worked as an IT manager/systems administrator at Service Coordination, Inc. (SCI), a non-profit corporation principally located in Frederick, for approximately three months. SCI provides case management services to Marylanders with intellectual and developmental disabilities. SCI terminated Afonso’s employment on October 13, 2013, and informed Afonso that his authorization to access SCI’s computers systems had been revoked.

However, beginning on October 17, 2013, Afonso repeatedly accessed the computer systems of SCI remotely through the Internet, without authorization from SCI. Alfonso used the username and password of a current SCI employee who was on disability leave at the time. Afonso obtained information concerning the computer network of SCI, and copied personal identifying information data on 11,238 SCI clients, which he emailed from the current employee’s account to himself.

As a result of Afonso’s conduct, SCI spent $38,672 to retain forensic examiners to respond to the breach of its systems and restore the security of its systems. SCI also incurred $12,473 in printing and mailing required breach notifications to all affected clients. SCI has also been required to offer identity theft protection to all its affected clients, and has spent $63,712 for protection services accepted by affected clients. Finally, SCI also incurred significant costs in employee and executive team time which was redirected from SCI work to respond to the breach.

The total loss attributed to the fraudulent scheme is between $70,000 and $120,000.

Afonso faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis scheduled sentencing for March 23, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI for its work in the investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney P. Michael Cunningham and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony V. Teelucksingh, who are prosecuting the case.

Updated January 26, 2015