A 24-year-old man is now facing charges for running a criminal service that has been stealing and selling personally information of over half a million people.
The suspect, Hieu Minh Ngo, a Vietnamese national, faces charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, substantive identity fraud, substantive wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, substantive access device fraud, and conspiracy to commit access device fraud.
The 15-count indictment ended up filed in November 2012, but unsealed last week. Federal officials arrested Ngo in February 2013 as he attempted to enter the United States.
U.S. authorities said Ngo and other members of the conspiracy obtained the details of over 500,000 people, including social security numbers, bank account numbers, bank routing numbers, credit card information, addresses, and phone numbers.
Ngo was the operator of identity theft services such as Superget.info and findget.me, according to security expert Brian Krebs. It appears he was fueling Superget.info with information from Court Ventures, a company acquired by Experian in March 2012.
The suspect posed as a private investigator and tricked Court Ventures into giving them access to their databases and the ones of US Info Search, a company with which Court Ventures made an information sharing agreement.
Marc Martin, the chief executive of US Info Search, told Krebs he learned of the incident after the Secret Service contacted him.
The companies sold consumer details to the service for almost a year.