Stolen data used in tax refund fraud

Nov. 29, 2012 at 6:45 PM

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- A billing company employee used personal information for people who had used Los Angeles Fire Department ambulances in a tax refund fraud, officials say.

The city has begun sending notices to hundreds of people that their names, Social Security numbers and other information may have been compromised, the Los Angeles Times reported. The letters advise those at risk to check with the Internal Revenue Service to see if fraudulent returns were filed in their names.

The company, Advanced Data Processing, was paid $6 million between June 2011 and Oct. 30, 2012, to handle billing for the Fire Department. City officials say the company is conducting its own investigation into the misuse of confidential information.

The problem could delay Los Angeles' plans to privatize other services, the newspaper said. Firefighters union officials opposed turning billing over to a contractor when it was approved two years ago.

"It's shameful, absolutely shameful, that some city contractor, a private company making a profit off this, has people getting access to people's private information," Pat McOsker, the union president, said.

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