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Former Countrywide Financial Analyst Sentenced to 18 Months of Prison And Ordered To Repay $1.8 Million

The Los Angeles office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California announced that a former Countrywide Home Loan employee was sentence on September 28 to 18 months of prison and ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution to Countrywide, now a unit of Bank of America.

Rene Rebollo, 39, of Pasadena, was arrested in 2008 after an investigation discovered that he had downloaded from Countrywide databases and sold the sensitive personal and financial information of about 2.5 million consumers. Rebollo was employed as a senior financial analyst for Countrywide’s subprime mortgage division in Pasadena. He admitted that that he saved the stolen information to a personal thumb drives and distributed consumers' Social Security numbers in at least 50,000 instances.

"As a result of the data breach, Countrywide underwent considerable expenses, including notification of individuals whose information was improperly disclosed, at a cost of approximately $1.2 million, and providing free credit monitoring for those individuals at a cost of approximately $15.75 million. Countrywide has also estimated that it has expended approximately $13.4 million in civil litigation, including several class action lawsuits, arising from the data breach."

This is a classic case of insider identity theft and the costs companies can incur from a breach. The case also highlights the importance of companies, small and large, to adopt data security measures and comply with Red Flag Rules.

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