Friday, May 22, 2009

Former Texas Lottery Staffer Charged in Data Theft

Via The Statesman (Austin) -

Sensitive personal information on more than 27,000 Texas Lottery winners, more than 600 lottery employees and more than 500 retailers was found on a computer used by a former lottery employee arrested Tuesday on information theft charges, court filings revealed Thursday.

The totals are more than was disclosed in initial reports of the arrest, which indicated that information on 140 winners and employees was involved.

Authorities said Joseph Anthony Mueggenborg, 39, was arrested Tuesday while undergoing training at the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, where he had taken a job three weeks ago as a systems analyst.

Travis County Jail officials said he was released Wednesday on a $100,000 personal bond.

According to a search warrant filed in September, an assortment of Lottery Commission files was discovered on Mueggenborg's state computer while he worked in the fiscal management division of the Texas comptroller's office.

They included "names, social security numbers, race/sex, home addresses, home telephone numbers, hire date, job titles" and other information on 619 lottery employees; names, addresses and amounts won and paid on 27,075

"mid-level Texas Lottery prizewinners"; and the names and Social Security numbers of 534 lottery retailers.

Last fall, Lottery Commission officials notified more than 92,000 past winners and employees that a former employee improperly took sensitive information about them. But they provided no details at the time.

According to the warrant, Mueggenborg admitted in an interview with an investigator at the comptroller's office that he took the information.

"Just prior to leaving the Lottery, I indiscriminately copied all the files" from the documents folder on his work computer "to a CD/DVD which I carried to subsequent jobs at the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Comptroller's Office," an affidavit attached to the warrant quotes Mueggenborg as saying.

He said he wanted the files "for possible future reference as a programmer at other state agencies," the affidavit states.

R.J. DeSilva, a comptroller's office spokesman, said Thursday that Mueggenborg had worked at the agency for four months and was fired the same day the files were found.

The affidavit says Mueggenborg worked at the Lottery Commission from 1999 to 2007.

Commission officials could not be reached for comment on additional details.

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