U.S. airport security officers targeted in ID theft

BOSTON Wed May 12, 2010 5:51pm EDT

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BOSTON (Reuters) - A Massachusetts couple has been charged with stealing the identities of dozens of Transportation Security Administration officers, who screen passengers and baggage at U.S. airports.

A federal grand jury accused Michael Derring, 48, and Tina White, 47, on Wednesday of conspiracy and aggravated identity theft, alleging they stole personal information including the Social Security numbers of dozens of TSA workers at Boston's Logan International Airport.

While there was no indication the information was passed to any militant group that might be planning an attack, the case suggests federal officers are vulnerable to identity theft. The TSA is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Prosecutors said that, between July 2008 and December 2009, the couple obtained information on TSA workers from a relative of Derring's who worked as a contractor for TSA's human resources department at the airport in Boston.

The grand jury alleged Derring and White used the identities to obtain electricity, cable television, telephone and other services for themselves, relatives, friends and customers. Some of White's customers were relatives and friends of state prison inmates, the indictment said.

(Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Daniel Trotta and John O'Callaghan)

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