Prison Emails Inmates Social Security Numbers To Convicted ID Thief

Image courtesy of Rick Drew

We don’t know why a man previously convicted of identity theft (and making bomb threats) would be sending public record requests for current prison rosters. Everyone needs a hobby, right? The ID thief in this story received a bonus when one prison sent him the list of more than 2,000 inmates’ names: their full Social Security numbers.

The man told the Mansfield News-Journal that sending that information to anyone is bad, but sending it to someone who’s a convicted identity thief could have been even worse. While he did serve time in prisons in Ohio, he was never in the prison that sent him the unredacted records, Chillicothe.

“I actually am truly done with the criminal life. Life’s too short,” he told the News-Journal. “I could’ve used those Social Security numbers to open a credit card account, but I didn’t.”

He could have used them to open two thousand credit card accounts, but at least he decided to stay honest. First, he brought the list to his local paper, then he contacted the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections and the FBI.

He had just returned to Ohio from a federal prison halfway house at the beginning of this year, and continues to search for work. His most recent prison stint was for making bomb threats to courthouses in 2012, and he previously served time for various crimes, including some scams that he carried out while still in prison.

Prison rosters are public records to which members of the public are entitled, but it’s interesting that this request didn’t catch anyone’s attention: The requester had his mail privileges revoked while in a different state prison in Ohio, and he had been declared a “vexatious litigator” who put a burden on the system by filing too many lawsuits.

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