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Carriere man sentenced for causing $587,000 in losses

NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that Colbi Trent Defiore, age 27, a resident of Carriere, Mississippi, was sentenced to 42 months imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release and payment of a $100 special assessment fee by United States District Judge Jay A. Zainey after previously pleading guilty to a one-count indictment with intentionally accessing a protected computer in excess of authorization for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain, and in furtherance of the commission of a felony, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ‘ 1030(a)(2)(C). Judge Zainey scheduled a hearing to determine the amount of restitution Defiore must repay for January 12, 2021.

According to court documents, Defiore worked as a seasonal employee for Company A, a Virginia-based company in the technology sector that supported the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) by operating contact centers to assist with, among other things, Medicare enrollment. One of the centers, at which Defiore worked, was located in Bogalusa, Louisiana. Company A took a series of security measures to protects consumers’ PII and supervise its employees, including requiring all employees, including Defiore, to undergo training on how to handle consumers’ personal identifying information (PII) appropriately.

On numerous occasions in November 2018, Defiore accessed and obtained without authorization, the personal identifying information of more than 8,000 individuals by improperly accessing the healthcare.gov database. Defiore did so for the purpose of his private financial gain and in furtherance of criminal acts, including wire fraud.

Specifically, Defiore conducted “bulk searches” of the database, which he was prohibited from doing, and was able to view the personal information of healthcare.gov customers. Defiore then copied the results of his searches onto a virtual clipboard and sent them to himself via email. After work hours, Defiore accessed Company A’s network remotely without authorization to retrieve his work email. Defiore used the personal information of at least five consumers to apply fraudulently for at least six credit cards, loans, and lines of credit for his personal benefit. In total, Defiore’s conduct caused reasonably foreseeable loss to the companies that operated the call center, including costs associated with responding to the offense, conducting a damage assessment, responding to and remediating damage, contacting consumers who were potential victims, and providing theft protection services for consumer-victims, in the amount of $587,000.

U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg is in charge of the prosecution.