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ITMG Insider Threat Cases – March 29, 2021

**ITMG Insider Threat News – Archive 

Office 365 Cyberattack Lands Disgruntled IT Contractor in Jail 

A former IT contractor is facing jailtime after a retaliatory hack into a company’s network and wiping the majority of its employees’ Microsoft Office 365 accounts. A former IT contractor has been sentenced to two years in prison after hacking into a company’s server and deleting the majority of its employees’ Microsoft Office 365 (O365) accounts. The incident resulted in the company completely shutting down for two days. The 32-year-old contractor, Deepanshu Kher, was initially employed by an unnamed IT consulting firm from 2017 through May 2018. In 2017, the consulting firm was hired by an unnamed company in Carlsbad, Calif. to assist with its migration to a O365 environment – and sent Kher to assist with the project. However, according to the Department of Justice (DoJ) on Monday, the company was dissatisfied with Kher’s work. Kher was pulled from the project in 2018 and fired from the consulting firm a few months later. 

Defense Department Linguist Pleads Guilty to Transmitting Highly Sensitive Classified National Defense Information To Aid A Foreign Government 

WASHINGTON – A Minnesota woman pleaded guilty today to one count of delivering national defense information to aid a foreign government. According to court documents, Mariam Taha Thompson, 63, formerly of Rochester, Minnesota, worked as a contract linguist at an overseas U.S. military facility where she was entrusted with a Top Secret government security clearance. Thompson pleaded guilty to transmitting highly sensitive classified national defense information to a foreign national who she believed would provide the information to Lebanese Hizballah, a designated foreign terrorist organization. “The United States entrusted the defendant with highly-sensitive classified information regarding one of its most critical tools — human intelligence in an active combat zone,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips for the District of Columbia. “The defendant’s complete betrayal of that trust placed the lives of American men and women on the battlefield, and their allies, in grave danger. Thompson’s arrest and prosecution demonstrate that those who intentionally compromise classified information that is entrusted to them will face swift and certain consequences.” 

Former Elementary School Teacher Pleads Guilty To Sending Suspicious Powder Mailings To Elementary Schools Throughout Central Florida 

Tampa, Florida – Acting United States Attorney Karin Hoppmann announces that Maria Bassi Lauro (66, Davenport) has pleaded guilty in connection with sending threatening mailings containing suspicious powder to elementary schools throughout central Florida. Lauro faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison. According to the plea agreement, beginning in August 2018, Lauro sent threatening mailings to employees at four Central Florida elementary schools where she had worked as a teacher: Citrus Ridge Academy and Four Corners Charter School in Davenport, Groveland Elementary School in Groveland, and Laurel Elementary School in Poinciana. All four of the mailings contained a suspicious powder, and three of the mailings included notes indicating they were “punishment.” Law enforcement and HAZMAT-trained personnel responded to each of the schools after employees opened the mailings and found the unidentified powder.  Ultimately, after testing, authorities determined each of the mailings contained sodium bicarbonate, more commonly known as baking soda. Lauro had effectively been fired for poor performance from each of the schools to which she sent the mailings, and each victim who received one of the letters had played a role in her performance review at and/or her terminations. 

Georgia Institute of Technology professor charged with Visa and wire fraud 

ATLANTA – Gee-Kung Chang has been arraigned on federal charges of conspiracy to commit visa fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud.  Chang and Jianjun Yu were indicted on March 18, 2021. “The defendants allegedly abused the visa program and deceived Georgia Tech to bring researchers into the United States,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine.  “The charges presented are the first step toward holding them accountable.” “The United States welcomes academics and researchers from across the globe,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “But we cannot allow anyone to exploit our benevolence. That’s what these defendants are accused of doing and now they will be judged.” “Schemes like this not only steal invaluable opportunities from legitimate, hard-working students it also allows scammers to come to the United States and profit from their misdeeds,” said Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama. “Identifying, arresting and prosecuting violators is vital to protect the integrity of our nation’s visa program.” 

Law Firm Bookkeeper Sentenced for Fraud, Identity Theft 

PROVIDENCE – A former bookkeeper/office manager who admitted to embezzling more than $740,000 from a Rhode Island law firm that employed her, fraudulently collecting nearly $20,000 in temporary disability insurance payments, and filing fraudulent documents when applying for a mortgage from a Rhode Island bank, was sentenced today to five years in federal prison. According to court documents, Sarah Gaulin, 39, a former employee of the law firm of Hamel, Waxler, Allen and Collins (HWAC), devised and executed multiple schemes and forged law firm checks to fraudulently obtain $740,953 in law firm funds. Gaulin previously admitted to the court that she prepared and cashed HWAC checks made payable to herself, which included the forged signature of a law firm partner; prepared HWAC checks payable to her own creditors; and prepared HWAC checks payable to law firm credit card companies and other third party vendors to pay for personal purchases and expenses, such as her rent, mortgage, automobile lease and repairs, AT&T service, and credit card debts. 

Two Former Mortuary Technicians of New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner Charged with Stealing Decedents’ Property 

Two criminal complaints were unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn  charging Charles McFadgen and Willie Garcon with access device fraud for using credit and debit cards that belonged to decedents whose bodies were in the care and custody of the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (“OCME”).  McFadgen and Garcon were arrested this morning and are scheduled to make their initial appearances this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Roanne L. Mann. “As alleged, the defendants, as mortuary technicians employed by New York City’s OCME, had a solemn duty to care for the bodies of the deceased and treat their personal effects with the utmost respect.  Instead, the defendants brazenly pilfered the belongings of the deceased, stole their property and enriched themselves by making unauthorized purchases worth several thousand dollars,” stated Acting United States Attorney Lesko.  “These arrests serve as a warning to corrupt city employees that they will be prosecuted and held accountable for their   criminal acts and breach of public trust.” 

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021 at 8:11 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.