San Jose IT Consultant Charged With Identity Theft

A 39-year-old San Jose IT consultant has been charged with a string of Silicon Valley office burglaries that netted computer components and customer profiles and caused the networks of several businesses to shut down.

After an investigation by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s high-tech crime task force, Andrew Madrid was charged last week with 36 felonies, including 24 counts of commercial burglary, five counts of identity theft and six counts of theft or possession of stolen property, and a count of possessing methamphetamine.

Prosecutors say the stolen items had an estimated value of $400,000; however, Deputy District Attorney Tom Flattery said that the financial losses caused by their thefts may total in the millions. Prior to Madrid's arrest, authorities found a Yamaha motorcycle and an expensive electric wheelchair he bought for his aunt with the stolen credit cards, prosecutors said.

Madrid could face more than 29 years in custody, if convicted. He is being held on $1 million bail. He was not immediately available for an interview.

The REACT Task Force nabbed Madrid for a similar string of burglaries in 2007, including cases in which he hacked into corporate computers and stole data. He was sentenced to prison in 2009 and released two years later. Madrid was still on parole for those crimes when he was arrested for committing the burglary that led to this investigation.

After being caught breaking into a Santa Clara high-tech office complex in April, the REACT Task Force began investigating Madrid for a much larger crime spree. Investigator Hung LeDang determined that between August 2012 and April 2013 Madrid broke into more than three dozen commercial businesses ranging from Redwood City to Los Gatos.

Prosecutors said he specifically targeted some of the companies’ server rooms, pilfering computer components. Several companies’ networks shut down as a result of the thefts bringing their ability to conduct business over the Internet to a halt.

In some cases, prosecutors said the equipment stolen contained personal identifying information and companies were required to notify each of their customers of the potential breach and offer them credit insurance. There is no evidence that any of the customers’ information was accessed by the defendant.

Madrid, authorities said, also searched the businesses for credit card and corporate account information during the burglaries.

Investigators identified several employees whose credit card information was compromised almost immediately after the burglaries. The charges against Madrid show him buying several thousand dollars in motorcycle parts with the stolen credit cards and then installed the parts on his motorcycle.

The Yamaha was located by REACT agents and determined to have been stolen in San Jose last year. Investigators recovered a large percentage of the property taken in the burglaries, including almost all of the computer hardware containing personal identifying information. Also recovered was a stolen remote control car and $4,000 electric wheelchair that Madrid bought for his aunt, now dead, with a stolen credit card.
Investigators believe Madrid is responsible for many other commercial burglaries in the Bay Area.

Anyone with information is asked to call  LeDang at (408) 282-2434.

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