TJX Data Thief Sentenced
The leader of an identity theft ring that stole credit card numbers from TJX has been sentenced to five years in prison and fined US$600,000.
Escobar and his team used stolen data to make counterfeit credit cards, which they used to buy gift cards at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club. They redeemed the gift cards for jewelry and electronic equipment in what McCollum calls "a modern-day version of money laundering" that resulted in a loss of $3 million nationwide.
TJX, the parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and A.J. Wright stores, reported that 45.6 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen in a 2005 data breach, and another 130,000 were stolen in December 2006.
Escobar was tied to the December 2006 data breach, the Florida AG's office says.
Five co-defendants, including his mother, pleaded guilty to similar charges involving organized fraud and grand theft.
TJX "believes it may never be possible to determine the exact number of individuals whose personal information was stolen," the AG's office says.