Insider Accused Of Stealing Data On 80,000 New York Cops

Civilian allegedly made off with eight backup tapes containing pension data on most of the NYPD

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

March 7, 2009

1 Min Read

A civilian official has been arrested for taking computer data that could be used to steal the identities of 80,000 current and retired police officers who participate in the New York Police Department's pension fund.

According to news reports, Anthony Bonelli, 46, allegedly went into a secret backup data warehouse on Staten Island last month and walked out with eight tapes packed with Social Security numbers, direct-deposit information for bank accounts, and other sensitive material.

Bonelli served as the fund's director of communications, but reportedly didn't have authorized access to the site, where the backup data was kept on VHS-like tapes. Reports say he managed to get past a guard on Feb. 21, unplugged video cameras, and left with the stolen tapes.

Bonelli raised suspicion with comments he made at work last week, according to news reports. The NYPD sent technology specialists to the site, where they discovered cameras had been disabled and tapes were missing. The tapes were found at Bonelli's home when he was arrested Saturday, police say. He was charged with computer trespass, burglary, and grand larceny. Bail was set at $2 million.

The Police Department's pension fund is sending out letters to the 80,000 potential victims, warning them of what happened and offering help if their identities are stolen.

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