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What may have been the biggest case of identity theft in Internet history–and certainly the boldest–has ended with a guilty plea. Abraham Abdallah, a 32-year-old New York busboy, pleaded guilty to a 12-count indictment that charges him with being part of a scheme to steal personal and financial data from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, investor Warren Buffett, movie director Steven Spielberg, and others.
Abdallah used telephones and computers in public libraries to steal credit records before his arrest in March 2001. The information was used to pilfer more than $80 million from individuals, companies, and financial institutions.
Why did he do it? Abdallah blames a compulsion disorder and the depression medication he was taking.