Sunday, October 1, 2023

62,000 profiles found at home: teacher jailed for stealing data

A Montrealer who managed to break into a database containing the personal information of all Quebec teachers is headed to prison, although he hopes to get out with community service.

“He had the personal information of 62,000 people stolen from a government data bank, he joined a structured and sophisticated criminal organization,” recalled Judge Suzanne Costom before sentencing Frédéric Lapointe, this Tuesday at the Montreal courthouse.

Lapointe, 44, thus took the path of detention for his crimes that began in the fall of 2017. At that time, computer hackers were able to obtain a list of absolutely all active and retired teachers in Quebec.

Even NAS

The police investigation led to a search, including one in Lapointe. On the site, authorities found lists of more than 62,000 teacher profiles, which included their date of birth and even their social security number.

“The negative consequences associated with identity theft (…) are well known,” the judge recalled. Each of these people is likely to become a victim. ”

Two fake driver’s licenses in the name of the two teachers, but with Lapointe’s photo, were also found, as were fake health insurance cards and even a social insurance card.

These two teachers also testified to the impact this activity had on them.

“The possibility that he could, at any time, become a victim of identity theft and fraud aroused great concern in him,” said the judge, recalling that the second victim “realized that he would never be safe from this type of event.” .

Attracting expensive profits

According to one report, Lapointe acted out of “greed” at a time when he was experiencing financial difficulties. Therefore, Lapointe received $700 per month to store data at home. And he also accessed the ministry’s database, at the request of accomplices, to get “certain data” for $200 or $300.

But those few dollars ultimately cost him his freedom, after he pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of a computer and identity theft, among other charges. And this, even though he said he would be “happy” to do community service for his crime, in the context of house arrest.

Instead, he was sentenced to two years less than one day in prison, followed by one year of probation.

“We are satisfied with the decision given by the court which emphasizes the extent of identity theft in this case, and especially the consequences suffered by the victims of identity theft,” commented Ms.e Geneviève Bélanger of the Crown, who handled this matter with Me Sarah-Audrey Daigneault.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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