News & Resources

Police officer involved in $1M identity theft scheme

Feb 03, 2012 Matt Roesly

A number of individuals, including an Ocala, Florida, police officer were arrested in an identity theft scheme, WESH Orlando reports. Authorities accused officer Dana Brown of obtaining the personal information of approximately 150 individuals. The group's plan was to open more than 180 bank accounts and cash fraudulent tax return checks. Police believe they saved the victims and banks nearly $1 million per month, the news source states. As an officer, Brown had access to the Drivers and Vehicle Information Database, and the information stolen was given to Howayda Hamdan, a bank employee, who planned to open up bank accounts. The scheme was revealed to authorities from an insider who was originally recruited by Brown. Police have clearly laid a majority of the blame on the access Brown had to the Driver and Vehicle Information Database, however they noted the database was still a vital component of their operations. "I'm sure were going to look at auditing how officers use DAVID. Without them having access to it, they would not be able to do their job," Maier said. Brown and the other suspects are charged with conspiracy, identity theft and fraud.