Illinois, Connecticut Probe Data Grab Via Experian Unit

An Experian Plc (EXPN) unit is the target of investigations by Illinois and Connecticut attorneys general for its role in the theft of social security numbers and other individual identifying data by a Vietnamese man who pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges in March.

Experian, the credit-reporting service selected by Target Corp. in January to provide free monitoring to people whose information may have been stolen in that retailer’s data breach, said its Court Ventures unit acquired in March 2012 was used by Hieu Minh Ngo to obtain and sell information from an unrelated business, U.S. Info Search in Columbus, Ohio.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s spokeswoman, Maura Possley, said that office is looking into the incursion and declined to comment on details of the investigation. Jaclyn Falkowski, a spokeswoman for Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, said his office is investigating and that she couldn’t comment further.

Ngo was accused of offering for sale and selling personal indentifying information from more than 500,000 people in a November 2012 federal indictment charging him with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit that crime, identification fraud and aggravated identity theft.

He pleaded guilty to wire fraud, identification fraud and fraud in connection with access devices on March 3 and hasn’t yet been sentenced.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Harris in federal court in Chicago at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at Mary Romano

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