Man found guilty in scheme to sell info illegally acquired from NYS Department of Labor to debt collectors

New York News
Social Security benefits identification card with 100 dollar bills generic money cash

(Getty)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A jury voted to convict Guy Cuomo, 54. of Frederick, Maryland for his role in a scheme to sell information unlawfully obtained from the New York State Department of Labor and workforce agencies in other states. Both the victims that testified at trial are from the Capital Region.

Cuomo was found guilty for computer fraud, misuse of a social security number, aggravated identity theft and related conspiracy charges.

“Guy Cuomo and his co-conspirators ran a boiler room for identity theft.  They used personal identifying information to trick state workforce agencies into disclosing the last known places of employment for thousands of victims.  The defendants then sold this place-of-employment information to debt collectors, generating nearly $1 million in sales.  Yesterday’s guilty verdict, on all counts, means Guy Cuomo will be going to prison for his leadership role in this despicable scheme,” said United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman.

Evidence showed Cuomo worked for and managed companies owned by Jason “J.R.” Trowbridge in Frederick, Maryland, including Paymerica Corporation.  Paymerica researched where debtors worked and sold the employer information to debt collectors and companies selling information to debt collectors.

To obtain the place of employment information, Cuomo and other members of the conspiracy pretended to be the debtors, created thousands of online unemployment insurance applications in the debtors’ names and with the debtors’ personal identifiers, including social security numbers, completed the applications to the point where each debtor’s last known place of employment appeared.

After confirming that the debtors worked for the relevant employers, Paymerica sold the place of employment information for approximately $90 per debtor.  Over the course three years, Paymerica made nearly $1 million selling the stolen information. 

The evidence showed that the scheme involved attempts to obtain place of employment information for as many as 200,000 people from all 50 states and that Paymerica sold the information for at least 12,000 people from 40 states.

Cuomo is scheduled to be sentenced on March 16, 2022. He faces a mandatory 2-year term of imprisonment on the aggravated identity theft charges and up to 20 years in prison on the remaining charges.

His co-defendants pleaded guilty to the following charges and face the following terms of imprisonment when they are sentenced:

DefendantCharges(s)Maximum Prison Sentence
Jason “J.R.” Trowbridge, 42, of Frederick, MarylandConspiracy, misuse of social security number, aggravated identity theftAgreed-upon sentence of 39 months subject to approval by the Court
Robin Chapin, 63, of Frederick, MarylandConspiracy to commit computer fraud, accessing a protected computer and obtaining information, aggravated identity theftTwo years for aggravated identity theft, maximum sentence of 10 years on remaining charges
Rebecca Fogle, 27, of Woodsboro, MarylandConspiracy to commit computer fraud, accessing a protected computer and obtaining information, aggravated identity theftTwo years for aggravated identity theft, maximum sentence of 10 years on remaining charges
Shamair Brison, 36, of Frederick, MarylandAggravated identity theftTwo years
Sarah Bromfield, 41, of Frederick, MarylandAggravated identity theftTwo years
Anna Hardy, 68, of Frederick, MarylandAggravated identity theftTwo years

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