By Debbie Gregory.
A former Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employee was arrested for stealing the personal information of veterans and fellow VA employees in order to sell the information for personal gain.
Phillip Hill of Benton, Arkansas, has been charged with aggravated identity theft, attempting to traffic social security numbers, and possessing “device-making equipment.”
Cody Hiland, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, said that Hill tried to sell the personal data of veterans, their family members and Veterans Affairs employees to an informant working with law enforcement. He was arrested before he could sell the confidential data.
The former database manager was fired from his job on December 6, but was still able to access the personal information remotely by using a VA computer he’d kept.
Hill will have his day in court in the beginning of March, where he could face up to 27 years behind bars if found guilty on all three charges. He could also face up to an additional seven years of supervised release.
He may also face a monetary penalty of $250,000 for each of the three charges.
This is just another black mark in a long list for the department. The VA Office of the Inspector General has its hands full policing and busting former employees who have been charged with crimes such as stealing disability benefits, embezzling funds, pulling a gun during a road rage incident, peeping into dorm rooms, and stealing oxycodone with intent to sell.