January 12, 2005 9:57 AM PST

Identity thief gets 14 years

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A British man charged with taking part in a massive identity theft scam has been sentenced to 14 years in prison in the United States.

Philip Cummings, 35, was sentenced Wednesday in a New York courtroom and will serve his sentence in the United States, where he had worked as a computer help desk employee. Cummings had pleaded guilty in September to charges of conspiracy and fraud.

The scam Cummings took part in victimized 30,000 people between 1999 and 2000. Prosecutors in the case say the scheme cost individuals, companies and financial institutions between $50 million and $100 million.

Cummings was charged with selling passwords and codes while working for Long Island-based Teledata Communications, a company that gave banks and other lenders access to databases of credit histories compiled by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

In June, another member of the operation was sentenced to more than three years in prison. According to reports, investigations into other members of the scam are ongoing.

Will Sturgeon of Silicon.com reported from London.


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