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Man gets 6-month prison term for stealing IDs of 11,000 disabled people from former employer

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A Maryland man was sentenced Monday to six months in federal prison for stealing the Social Security numbers and medical information of more than 11,000 intellectually and developmentally disabled people from the computers of his former employer, a state-licensed provider of case-management services to the disabled.

Alexander Afonso, 40, of Frederick also must serve six months of home detention as part of a two-year supervised-release period after his prison term ends. U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis in Baltimore also ordered Afonso to pay $75,000 in restitution to Frederick-based Service Coordination Inc., where he worked for three months in mid-2013 as an information technology manager and systems administrator.

The company terminated Afonso's employment and revoked his computer access Oct. 13, 2013, for reasons not disclosed in court records. Four days later, Afonso used another employee's username and password without her permission to begin the process of obtaining personal information of 11,238 clients — about half the state's total population of adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, according to court records.

Afonso pleaded guilty in January to an identity theft charge that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, plus restitution.

The company incurred costs to investigate the breach, restore security, notify clients and provide them with a year's worth of identity theft protection, according to the plea agreement.

Marcy Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Maryland U.S. attorney's office, said in an email there is no indication Afonso used the information for harm or planned to do so.

Afonso's prison term begins May 22. Neither he nor defense attorney James E. Crawford Jr. responded to requests for comment.

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