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Tag: passport

Was Ex-Secret Service Agent Planning to Flee Country After Stealing Bitcoins?

3-D model of a virtual bitcoin. Photo: Trader Tim/Flickr

3-D model of a virtual bitcoin. Photo: Trader Tim/Flickr

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The former Secret Service agent who was prosecuted for stealing $800,000 in bitcoins while investigating the dark website Silk Road was arrested at his Maryland home a day before he was scheduled to turn himself in to begin a prison sentence, the Guardian reports. 

Arresting officers made a discovery that questions whether Shaun Bridges was planning on leaving the country. The found a bag with his passport and “corporate records for three offshore entities in Nevis, Belize and Mauritius.”

Officers also found several Secret Service-issued bullet proof vests that appear to have been stolen from the federal government, the Guardian reported, citing an arrest warrant.

Bridges is now in custody because he is considered a flight risk.

Investigators Use Phony Documents and Fool Passport and Postal Workers 4 Out of 4 Times

We assumed in the Post 9/11 era the government had taken security measures to assure we were safer. After reading this story ask yourself: Do I feel safer?

By EILEEN SULLIVAN
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON – Using phony documents and the identities of a dead man and a 5-year-old boy, a government investigator obtained U.S. passports in a test of post-9/11 security. Despite efforts to boost passport security since the 2001 terror attacks, the investigator fooled passport and postal service employees four out of four times, according to a new report made public Friday.

The report by the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ investigative arm, details the ruses:

_One investigator used the Social Security number of a man who died in 1965, a fake New York birth certificate and a fake Florida driver’s license. He received a passport four days later.

_A second attempt had the investigator using a 5-year-old boy’s information but identifying himself as 53 years old on the passport application. He received that passport seven days later.

For Full Story

Ex-State Dept. Worker Pleads To Illegally Accessing Passport Applications of Celebrities

By Allan Lengel
Ticklethewire.com

A former State Department employee pleaded guilty Wednesday in Washington to illegally accessing passport applications of more than 150 celebrities, actors, musicians, comedians, models, politicians, athletes and media members out of “idle curiosity”, the Justice Department said.
Dwayne F. Cross, 41, of Upper Marlboro, Md., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola to one count of unauthorized computer access, the Justice Department said. Sentencing is set for March 23. Last fall, another State Department employee pleaded guilty to the same offense.
Cross was an administrative Assistant in the Diplomatic Security Abduction Unit, Counter Intelligence at the State Department. In March 2008, he returned as a contract employee for the acquisition office.
According to plea agreement, Cross said he had access to State Department computer data bases including the Passport Information Electronic Records System (PIERS), which contains applications dating back to 1994, the Justice Department said.
The PIERS system includes a photograph of the passport applicant as well as certain personal information: the applicant’s full name, date and place of birth, current address, telephone numbers, parent information, spouse’s name and emergency contact information, the Justice Department said. The confidential files are protected by the Privacy Act of 1974, and are only available for official government business..
In pleading guilty, Cross admitted that between January 2002 and August 2007, he looked ” at passport applications of more than 150 celebrities, actors, musicians, comedians, models, politicians, athletes, members of the media, family members, friends, associates and others”, the Justice Department said.

Read Government’s Statement of Facts