A class action lawsuit has been brought against Experian, by Maudie Patton and two other named plaintiffs, for the credit bureau’s role in selling confidential consumer information to 25-year-old Hieu Minh Ngo through its data broker subsidiary Court Ventures for nearly 10 months.
Court Ventures, which had contracted with Ngo, was acquired by Experian in 2012. Ngo, using an alias of Jason Low posed as a private detective under the business name of SG Investigators. Ngo paid for the information via cash wire transfers from a bank in Singapore.
The lawsuit states that Experian should have done its due diligence prior to acquiring Court Ventures. Had the company done so, they would have been alerted to the fact that Court Ventures was “engaged in, and was connected to, unauthorized and unlawful activity.”
The class action lawsuit comes just days after a judge sentenced Ngo to 13 years in prison for running an identity theft service. Ngo was able to get millions of peoples’ Social Security numbers, credit card information, and other personal identifying information which he then sold through his two websites – Superget.info and findget.me.
Reports estimate that Ngo sold sensitive data that impacted over 13,500 U.S. citizens who were victimized by hackers fraudulently filing tax returns to the tune of $65 million according to Krebs. Ngo made close to $2 million through his sales of private information.
Experian is being accused of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as well as multiple other statutes according to the class action complaint which is seeking that Experian perform some of the following actions:
- Provide notification to all known victims impacted by Ngo’s service.
- Provide all victims with free credit monitoring services.
- Create a fund which can be used by all victims as reimbursement in an effort to rectify any financial damages incurred.
Experian has yet to provide comment or respond to the claims in court.