- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A clerk at a Blockbuster video store near Dupont Circle stole credit card numbers from about 60 customers in 2003, charging to his victims $117,000 in illegal purchases, according to an indictment unsealed in federal court yesterday.

Miles N. Holloman, 25, stole the names, birth dates, credit card numbers and expiration dates, Social Security numbers, and addresses from customers who applied for Blockbuster accounts at the chain’s store at 1639 P St. NW, where he worked from February to September 2003, according to prosecutors.

Mr. Holloman and his accomplices used the stolen data to order replacement cards, clothing and other merchandise over the telephone and have it mailed to a victim’s address, said the statement from U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Wainstein, whose office is prosecuting the case, and James B. Burch, an official with the U.S. Secret Service.

Mr. Holloman’s accomplices then would wait at the victim’s home to intercept the mail, the statement said. It did not name the accomplices.

“Holloman allegedly purchased merchandise, ordered cellular telephone service, bought and maintained a car, obtained false driver’s licenses and counterfeit credit cards, fraudulently applied for automobile insurance, and traveled — all the time using the Blockbuster video applications’ credit card numbers,” the charging statement said.

The illegal purchases were made between early 2003 and April 2004, according to the indictment.

Mr. Holloman could face a sentence of between three and five years.

The indictment includes charges of conspiracy, fraud and misuse of a Social Security number. The indictment was returned in February, according to Mr. Wainstein’s spokesman.

The indictment was unsealed during Mr. Holloman’s arraignment before U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer.

A status hearing is scheduled for May 12.

“Blockbuster continues to look into reports of misconduct by a former employee, Miles Holloman. … Blockbuster takes this matter extremely seriously, and we intend to work with authorities assigned to this case,” said a statement from the company issued last night.

The Dallas company said it does not have additional details and could not comment further.

Identity theft — the use of a consumer’s credit card numbers and other private data to make purchases without their permission — is becoming more common as more businesses and other organizations turn to technology to store their customers’ sensitive personal information.

Ten million Americans, or 4.6 percent of the adult population, were victims of identity theft in a one-year period, according to a Federal Trade Commission report in 2003.

Computer hackers have hit several large schools, businesses and other organizations since January, raising fears that the number of identity theft cases will increase this year.

Spokesmen for the FTC and some large financial institutions said last week they have not experienced an increase in the number of calls from consumers who feared they had become victims of identity theft since this wave of computer hackings began.

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