Public employees victims of big ID theft case

7:28 AM, Sep 8, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. - Four women have been charged in what is being described as one of the most prolific identify theft cases in Ramsey County

"It could be up to 500 victims," said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. 

After a five month investigation Ramsey County charged the four women Friday who are listed below: 

  • Shauntell R. Burg, 32, of St. Paul 
  • Andrea L. Gunderson, 30, address not listed 
  • Roxanne K. Delforin, 49, of St. Paul 
  • Kristin R. Warren, 40, of St. Paul 

Investigators believe the person who gathered at least of the sensitive information was Deflorin, who allegedly accessed some of it at the Department of Labor and Industry where she was a clerical worker. 

She voluntarily resigned in 2004. She allegedly got other information from the Professional Employees Retirement Association of Minnesota or PERA where the complaint alleges she may have dove into dumpsters to get it. It was at her home on the 700 block of Thomas Avenue where investigators say they found hundreds of stolen identities inside, as well as two sawed-off shotguns. 

The complaint alleges Deflorin stole the information and then sold it to one of the other women for drugs.

A PERA spokesperson confirms SOME of the victims are current or former non-licensed employees for the Wayzata School District, along with some who worked for Anoka County.

Both Wayzata Schools and Anoka County say they told employees immediately after hearing about the identify theft and offered any assistance they may have needed.

Wayzata sent letters to both victims and other staff members informing them of the situation.

PERA says it no longer recycles personal information off site; instead it shreds it in the building because of what happened.

"This could happen to anyone of your viewers," and Choi believes more will fall victim in part because his staff doesn't have the resources to fight back.

"I think it's been unabated in a sense because of a lack of resources we haven't been able to give full attention to this," he said. 

Because there are some many victims in this case, Ramsey County set up a website where victims can get information about the case and get tips on how to avoid further financial damage. 

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Department of Labor and Industry tells KARE 11 it has improved its security by using worker identification numbers instead of social security numbers. That policy change came before this current case came to light.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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