A man arrested by Texas police over his alleged involvement in the devastating data breach at No. 3 U.S. retail chain Target Corp last year was in fact picked up in a "street-level arrest" unrelated to a broader federal investigation into the matter, a law enforcement official told Reuters.
Earlier on Wednesday, USA Today and local TV station KVUE reported that Texas police arrested Guo Xing Chen, saying he was "involved in a large-scale credit breach believed to be in excess of $70 million according to investigators from the Target Corporation.
"This appears to be strictly a street level arrest that is not tied to the larger breach investigation," the official, who is familiar with the Secret Service investigation into the Target breach, said on condition of anonymity.
"These credit card numbers could have come from a variety of sources."
Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder referred requests for comment to law enforcement officials. The Secret Service, which has investigated the incident, was not immediately available for comment.
The cyber-attack on Target over the holidays dented the company's profits, shook consumer confidence, prompted congressional hearings and helped lead to the removal of Chairman and Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel this week.
Some 40 million payment card records were stolen, along with 70 million other records of customer information, including addresses and telephone numbers.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic in San Francisco and Jim Finkle in Boston; Editing by Eric Walsh and Ken Wills)