Navy IT Manager Convicted of Selling Information on Dark Web, Receives Sentencing

    Marquis Hooper, a former IT Manager in the Navy, was sentenced to five years in prison for unlawfully accessing and tampering with a computer database that contained highly sensitive and confidential information. This database is limited to organizations with a legitimate business or legal need to access the personally identifiable information (PII) it contains, as stated in the Department of Justice press release.

    Hooper’s illegal actions resulted in the theft of over 9,000 individuals’ identities. He subsequently sold this stolen PII to the Dark Web for $160,000 worth of Bitcoin.

    The defendant not only accessed the database fraudulently but also created a fraudulent online account with the Company database, adding his accomplice and wife, Natasha Chalk, to the account. From there, they illegally obtained the PII of over 9,000 individuals and sold it on the Dark Web for a substantial sum of $160,000 worth of Bitcoin.

    Unfortunately, the recipients of the stolen information used it to commit various crimes. For example, one offender used the PII to create a counterfeit driver’s license and attempted to withdraw funds from a victim’s bank account. This incident emphasizes the destructive consequences of Hooper and Chalk’s sale of the sensitive data.

    In an attempt to regain access to the database, Hooper, Chalk, and an unindicted co-conspirator were suspected of trying to create a new account. Subsequently, the company closed the original account.

    Hooper paid a co-conspirator $2500 each month to unlock the database, enabling the transmission of documents to an unindicted conspirator who impersonated the victim, posing as a Naval supply officer in an identity theft scheme. One document utilized in this scheme was a forged letter allegedly from a commanding officer in the Navy.

    The investigation into this case involved the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Homeland Security Investigations. Joseph Barton, an assistant U.S. attorney, handled the prosecution.

    Natasha Chalk, Hooper’s wife and accomplice, is scheduled for sentencing on November 20, 2023. She could face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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