Breaking News in the Industry: July 27, 2017

Dallas Cowboy cleared of shoplifting claims; police apologize

This is a follow-up to a report we brought you on Tuesday. Lucky Whitehead was not responsible for a shoplifting incident in Woodbridge, Virginia, last month, Prince William police spokesperson Sergeant Jonathan Perok said Tuesday. The professional football player grad was released from the Dallas Cowboys on Monday after news of the “arrest” was made public, along with claims that Whitehead failed to appear in court to face the charges earlier this month. In response to the allegations, Whitehead’s agent told the media Monday evening that his client wasn’t even in Virginia at the time. Flight information shared by Whitehead showed his flight from Dallas didn’t arrive in Virginia until hours after the shoplifting incident. “Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named ‘Rodney Darnell Whitehead Jr.’, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys.” Investigators are now seeking to identify the man who claimed to be Whitehead, while also working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to clear Whitehead of all charges related to the investigation.

“The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family,” Perok said. Early on June 22, police responded to a shoplifting report at the Wawa at 2051 Daniel Stuart Square. A store employee told police that a man ran from the store without paying for some merchandise. Police located the man in the parking lot and he identified himself as Whitehead. He did not have identification, Perok disclosed Tuesday, but the man provided Whitehead’s name, date of birth and social security number. “The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody,” Perok said. “Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation.” Dallas head coach Jason Garrett said Tuesday the Cowboys will not bring Whitehead back.  [For more: InsideNova]

Employee sentenced in $1 million embezzlement

The former finance director of Jazzercise was sentenced Tuesday to more than seven years in prison for embezzling what authorities say was upwards of $1 million from the Carlsbad, California-based company and its owners, possibly to feed a gambling habit. Sherri O. Potts, who spent nearly nine years as the corporate director of finance for the physical-fitness firm, was arrested in Carlsbad in October on 50 theft-related charges, including forgery, fraudulent appropriation and grand theft by an employee. She pleaded guilty in March to one count of grand theft, three counts of forgery and one count of failing to report the stolen money on her tax returns. She also admitted that she stole more than $500,000. Superior Court Judge Michael Washington sentenced the 60-year-old Fallbrook resident to seven years, eight months in prison. [For more: The San Diego Union-Tribune]

Area man gets prison for credit card fraud

A 39-year-old former rural Boyceville, Wisconsin, man has been sentenced to 6½ years in prison for the fraudulent use of a credit card for charging more than $10,000 on a card stolen in November. Ryan J. Hobbick was given five years of extended supervision upon his release from prison and must pay $12,453 in fines and restitution. According to the criminal complaint: A Dunn County sheriff’s search warrant was executed December 15, 2014, at Hobbick’s then-Ridgeland address. Receipts were found for copper tubing and parts as well as furniture and other personal items at Menard’s stores in Eau Claire and Rice Lake. A gift certificate for $2,000 was found that authorities believe was to be delivered to Hobbick’s home in another person’s name.  [For more: Leader-Telegram]

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More than 6 billion records have been hacked this year

More than six billion records have been hacked in 2017, surpassing the number of personal, financial or medical records compromised overall in 2016. According to a mid-year report from Richmond-based cybersecurity firm Risk Based Security, there have been 2,227 public data breaches as of June 30 this year. “It is stunning to see the steady increase in the number of breaches impacting one million or more records. In the first six months of 2013, 2014 and 2015, the number of these large breaches hovered in the mid-teens. Last year we saw that number jump to 28, and now, for the first six months of this year, we’re tracking 50 such incidents,” says Inga Goddijn, Executive Vice President for Risk Based Security.

Cybercriminals are targeting individuals’ tax information at a higher rate than in previous years. In 2016, about 160 phishing campaigns successfully collected victims’ W-2 information. This year, similar incidents have increased by 25 percent, including scams targeting human resource departments, payroll service providers and state employment agencies. America’s Job Link Alliance in March fell victim to a multi-state data breach that exposed the birthdates, social security numbers, names and addresses of 5.5 million job seekers. Criminal data breaches are becoming more commonplace, it’s estimated that they’ll cost businesses a total of $8 trillion over the next five years, according to a report from U.K-based market intelligence firm Juniper Research last month.  [For more: KRCA3 News]

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