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Thursday, 23 May 2013 09:18

New York cop in hotwater over hacking

Written by Nick Farrell



Supposed to arrest not use the criminals

A New York cop is in hot water after finding a network of hackers who broke into email accounts for a living. Instead of arresting them, the Bronx detective Edwin Vargas became a client and obtained login information for at least 43 e-mail accounts associated with 30 people. Some of the people he wanted details on included 19 members of his fellow Police officers.

Vargas, 42, suspected a former girlfriend, also a Police employee had started a new relationship with a fellow cop. Vargas and the woman had a child together, officials said, but had broken up. A lawyer for the detective’s union said that Vargas never before under suspicion for any impropriety, let alone any criminal activity. For two years Detective Vargas contacted the e-mail hacking group multiple times and paid about $4,050 for the login information for accounts of fellow officers and some private citizens. He paid between $50 and $250 per account, according to the complaint, using a credit card or PayPal account registered to his Bronx address.

Vargas is accused of gaining access to only one of the accounts for which he obtained login details. Prosecutors also accused the detective of accessing online records for a mobile phone belonging to one of the victims. Vargas has been charged with conspiracy to commit computer hacking and of unlawful access to a law enforcement database.

Nick Farrell

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