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09:40 AM

Security Charlatan

Founder of LifeLock, an identity protection service, steps down amid charges of identity theft

5:40 PM -- Irony of the week: Robert Maynard, a founder of identity theft protection service LifeLock, has resigned from the company because of allegations that he stole identities -- including his dad's.

In a compelling investigative story, the Phoenix New Times reveals Maynard's former company, a credit-repair operation, was bankrupted and banned from the industry for false advertising and deceptive practices.

The article also alleges that Maynard took out a credit card in his father's name and charged more than $150,000 to it. And it suggests that Maynard's story on how he started the LifeLock company is a lie.

LifeLock advertises frequently on television and radio, and it boasts over 150,000 customers. In the commercials, LifeLock CEO Todd Davis gives out his Social Security number and says he isn't worried about it, because he uses the LifeLock service. Maynard has also appeared in many venues, telling the story of how he came up with the idea for LifeLock, while serving a term in jail after having his identity stolen.

The Phoenix New Times alleges that Maynard served time in Nevada for defaulting on a casino debt, not for any charges related to identity fraud.

Subsequent coverage in Wired this week appears to substantiate the investigative story, although CEO Davis says the company finds "no merit" to the allegations about Maynard.

Oh, by the way, Davis concedes that he was a victim of identity theft last week -- some guy in Texas used the Social Security number on LifeLock's billboard to float a $500 loan at a check-cashing service.

The service didn't bother to check the guy's credit report.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

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