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Former JPMorgan employee charged with stealing customer data

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(Bloomberg) — A former JPMorgan Chase & Co. employee was arrested by the FBI on charges of stealing customer data and trying to sell it to an undercover informant for tens of thousands of dollars.

Peter Persaud got unauthorized access to customer accounts and later sold data, including PINs, Social Security numbers and birth dates, as well as debit and bank account security codes, to an informant, said Peter Donald, a Federal Bureau of Investigation in New York.

Even after being suspended by JPMorgan Chase in February, Persaud complained about not having access to the confidential banking data he was trying to sell, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“I can’t get nothing while I’m suspended. ’Cause I don’t have access to that,” Persaud told an undercover agent in a conversation recorded by the FBI’s Financial Cyber Crimes Task Force.

The informant agreed to wear a wire to record conversations and calls with Persaud, according to the U.S. The undercover agent, who was posing as the person who was buying the data from the informant, didn’t withdraw any money from victims’ accounts while working with investigators, according to a criminal complaint.

Account balance

During a meeting in December, the informant paid Persaud $2,500 in exchange for a bank customer’s confidential personal data for an account that had a balance of about $19,000, with a $3,000 daily withdrawal limit, prosecutors said.

Persaud told the informant he expected to be paid $7,500 more after the informant “emptied the account,” according to court papers.

While the informant didn’t withdraw any money while working with the FBI, Persaud continued to meet with the informant for several months and sought to use other bank employees to evade detection by JPMorgan Chase superiors.

Even after Persaud claimed he’d been reinstated at work in March, the U.S. says he attempted to sell account information for four bank accounts that contained about $150,000, the U.S. said.

Michael Fusco, a spokesman for New York-based JPMorgan, said the bank was “sorry that t his happened.”

“We provided free credit monitoring to the handful of impacted customers and they will not lose any funds related to this incident,” Fusco said. “We are continuing to work closely with authorities as part of this investigation and he’s no longer a Chase employee.”

‘Very aggressive’

JPMorgan’s most senior leaders addressed data security in letters to shareholders this month, with Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon pledging to be “very aggressive” in preventing outsiders from misusing the bank’s information on clients.

“We will not compromise on the control environment and, to that end, continue to tighten data controls for ourselves, as well as for our third parties,” Chief Operating Officer Matt Zames wrote.

Persaud, who appeared Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Viktor Pohorelsky in Brooklyn, is charged with one count of scheming to defraud a financial institution.

Wearing a multicolored striped sweater and black track pants, Persaud said he understood the charges against him and said nothing else. He is in U.S. custody. A bail hearing was set for Wednesday.

The case is U.S. v. Persaud, 15-mj-00358, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

–With assistance from David Scheer in Seattle.


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