A former Navy IT manager was sentenced to 65 months in prison for conspiring in the sale of fraudulently acquired personally identifiable information (PII).
According to court documents,
32-year-old Marquis Hooper of California and his wife, Natasha Chalk,
stole the PII of more than 9,000 people and sold it to fraudsters
through the dark web and encrypted messaging platforms for $160,000 in
To acquire the PII, Hooper created an account on a company
that maintains a database that contains the PII of millions of
individuals. The company allows its customers to download reports with
all of an individual's PII information.
To open an account on the
platform, Hooker claimed he had been ordered to open an account on the
paltform and use it to verify the information of Navy personnel. The
company approved the account on September 9, 2018.
Hooker and Chalk consequently ran tens of thousands of searches on the company's database. By December 18, when the company suspended Hooker's account, the couple had acquired the PII of over 9,000 individuals.
2019, Hooker attempted to open another account on the company's
platform. He asked a Navy officer to claim he had been asked by the Navy
to use the company's database to conduct background checks on Navy
personnel. Hopper and his accomplice attempted to use fraudulent
documents to convince the company to approve the account. Their attempts
failed as the company flagged the account for fraud.
Chalk were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and multiple
counts of wire fraud and identity theft in a 16-count indictment filed
in January 2021. The couple pleaded guilty to the charges in March 2023.
Hooker was sentenced to five years and five months in prison on October 16, 2023. His wife will be sentenced on November 20.