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ITMG Insider Threat Cases – August 10, 2020

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Former Uber Executive Sentenced to 18 Months in Jail for Trade Secret Theft From Google: Defendant Stole Google’s Confidential Information on Self-Driving Car Technology

Anthony Scott Levandowski pleaded guilty and was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for trade secret theft related to Google’s self-driving car program, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and John F. Bennett, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Levandowski was also ordered to pay a $95,000 fine and $756,499.22 in restitution. As part of a plea agreement, Levandowski, 40, of Marin County, pleaded guilty to one of the 33 counts of trade secrets theft originally filed against him in 2019.  In pleading guilty, Levandowski admitted that from 2009 to 2016 he worked in Google’s self-driving car program, known then as Project Chauffer.  Levandowski admitted that during this time, he was aware his employment agreement required him to keep Google’s valuable non-public information confidential.  He also admitted knowing that the non-public information related to Project Chauffeur was sensitive and subject to the confidentiality requirement.

Gigabytes of ‘Sensitive’ Internal Intel Documents Dumped Online

Chip giant Intel is investigating the leak of what appears to be a 20 GB cache of internal documents, some of which are marked “confidential,” after it appeared on various messaging platforms and data hosting sites. An Intel spokesperson told CyberScoop that the data looks to be from the company’s Resource and Design Center, which hosts information for customers, partners and other external parties that have access. “We believe an individual with access downloaded and shared this data,” a spokesperson told CyberScoop.

Former Controller for Chicago Insurance Company Arrested on Federal Fraud Charge for Allegedly Stealing $5 Million in Company Funds

The former controller of a Chicago insurance company has been arrested on a federal fraud charge for allegedly stealing $5 million in company funds. From approximately October 2018 to June 2020, KEVIN J. MIX initiated and authorized approximately 35 wire transfers from the insurance company to his bank accounts and the accounts of shell companies that he created, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District in Chicago.  Mix attempted to conceal the scheme by making false entries in the company’s records, creating fake emails, and making false statements to representatives of the insurance company and the company’s bank, the complaint states. Mix allegedly used the stolen money to purchase a Lexus RX sport-utility vehicle, a Mercedes-Benz automobile, and real estate in Chicago and Columbus, Ohio.

Employee Enters Guilty Plea in $700K Fraud, Money Laundering Scheme

A Washington, Missouri, woman entered a guilty plea to several charges related to defrauding her former employer. According to the United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Missouri, Christen Diane Schulte pleaded guilty on Monday to wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering charges related to a scheme to defraud her former employer, several individuals associated with her former employer, the Berger Levee District of Franklin County, and several financial institutions. Schulte appeared in federal court before United States District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig who accepted the plea and set her sentencing date for November 10.

Former Employee of Schertz Flooring Company Admits to Stealing $470K

A former employee of Schertz-based Stone Care of Texas flooring company admitted to stealing funds via wire fraud. Deanna Wehde pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft on July 30, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Texas. She admitted to stealing $470,000 while she managed the company, said U.S. Attorney John Bash and Christopher Combs, FBI special agent in charge of the San Antonio Division. Wehde admitted that she defrauded the company by using company credit cards issued in the names of former employees for business-related travel, and to make unauthorized purchases and cash withdrawals for her own personal use and benefit while employed by Stone Care of Texas between May 2016 and September 2018.

Healthcare Bookkeeper Ordered to Pay $321k In Restitution, Prison Time For Defrauding Former Valdosta Employer

The former bookkeeper for a Valdosta, Georgia physical therapy business was ordered to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars to her former employer and was sentenced to 41 months in prison for bank fraud, said Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. Heather Nicole Gray, 33, of Norman Park, Georgia was sentenced on Thursday, August 6 by U.S. District Judge Louis Sands to 41 months in prison after pleading guilty to two counts bank fraud in September 2019. Gray was also ordered by Judge Sands to pay $321,000 in restitution. There is no parole in the federal system. According to the stipulation of fact, Ms. Gray began doing financial work for Sutherland Physical Therapy, Inc. (SPT), in Valdosta, Georgia in September 2014 as an employee of Quick Consulting of Adel. In her capacity as bookkeeper, Ms. Gray also had access to the financials for Sutherland Yoga Studio, LLC (SYS).

Dumpster Company Employee Sentenced to More than Four Years for Embezzling over $1M Through Shell Company Fraud Scheme

United States Attorney Peter M. McCoy, Jr. announced today that William Tye Grisel, 40, former IT manager of South Carolina-based company Big Red Box, a national dumpster brokerage firm, was sentenced to more than four years in federal prison after pleading guilty to embezzling over $1 million from the company from 2014 to 2017.“The Defendant’s lies and fabrications bilked his employer out of more than $1 million and caused substantial damage to this small company doing business here in South Carolina,” said U.S. Attorney McCoy. “As the Defendant’s prison sentence shows, this office takes these types of crimes seriously. We will always stand up to protect victims here in South Carolina, whether they are individuals or businesses.” Evidence presented in court established that, as IT manager of Big Red Box, Grisel was responsible for hiring and overseeing the work of several search engine optimization (SEO) companies, which generate internet-search leads for the company.  Not long after assuming this role, Grisel created his own fictitious SEO, which he then used to siphon money from the company.

Former Federal Government Employee and Active Duty Soldier at Camp Mabry in Austin Admit to Stealing over $1 Million in Military Equipment

In Austin this week, an active duty soldier and a former federal government employee at Camp Mabry admitted to stealing and unlawfully selling more than $1 million worth of items from the military installation in Austin, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash. Appearing today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Lane, 27-year-old Texas National Guardsman Cristal Avila of Fort Worth pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property.  On Tuesday, 35-year-old Joseph Mora of Schertz, TX, Avila’s co-defendant and former Program Analyst at the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office warehouse, pleaded guilty to the same charge.  By pleading guilty, Avila and Mora admitted to conducting a scheme to remove large quantities of sensitive military grade equipment, including rifle scopes, infrared laser aiming devices and thermal night vision goggles, from the facility without authorization.  Mora later sold many of the stolen items on eBay and by other means.

Former Homeland Security Investigator Sentenced to Over 10 Years for Money Laundering, False Statements, and Tax Evasion Convictions

Today, Tyrone Cedric Duren, 50, of Bonsall, California was sentenced by Judge John A. Houston to 130 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. The court also ordered the forfeiture of Duren’s primary residence, a money judgment of $275,000, and restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. Duren previously pleaded guilty to 19 counts including charges of money laundering, making false statements, and tax evasion. While working as a federal agent specializing in the investigation of bulk cash smuggling, Duren stole money from individuals smuggling drug proceeds to Mexico. Duren then laundered those funds by depositing them into personal and business accounts, and used the stolen cash for personal purchases. Over several years, Duren used his position as a federal agent to place GPS trackers on vehicles used to transport proceeds from drug sales. Duren then took some of the drug money after it was seized, laundered it into his own accounts, and spent it on real estate and international travel.

Postal Manager Indicted on Theft from Mail Charges

A U.S. Postal employee was indicted yesterday in connection with stealing mail believed to contain controlled substances. Shawn M. Herron, 44, of Whitman, Mass., was indicted on one count of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute and one count of theft of mail by a postal employee. Herron was arrested and charged by criminal complaint in February 2020. According to court documents, Herron has been employed by the Postal Service since September 2005, most recently as a Manager of Customer Services at the Fall River Post Office (FPO).  Prior to this position, he was the Supervisor of Customer Service at the Canton Post Office.

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