A 425-pound computer hacker with a huge appetite for identity theft has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for his part in the biggest case of credit card fraud in US history.

Philip Cumming, an ex-pat Brit living in Cartersville, Georgia was handed out the sentence at yesterday in a New York courtroom after pleading guilty to conspiracy, wire fraud and fraud offences last September. Cummings stole over 30,000 credit histories from Long Island-based Telecommunications Inc. where he worked as a help desk employee.

He then sold the histories to criminal gangs based in Nigeria for $30 a time. The gangs then used the histories to apply for credit cards, loans and bank accounts. Losses from the scam have been estimated at $50-$100 million.

Presiding US District Judge George Daniels turned down pleas from the defence to go easy on the morbidly obese Cumming saying he had a heart condition. The defendant is currently on bail but will have to report to prison on 9th March. He is also due to pay compensation to be agreed at a later date.

www.fbi.gov/page2/oct04/uncoveridt101504.htm
www.usdoj.gov/usao/nys/Press%20Releases/SEPTEMBER04/Cummings%20Plea%20PR.pdf