Private investigator accused of stealing wealthy people's personal info | News
MEMPHIS, TN- (WMC-TV) – A man is behind bars and charged with stealing and selling wealthy people's personal information.
Dennis Clark is a private investigator, who has been licensed in the state of Tennessee since May 1993.
The secret service says he was using his access for ill-gotten gains. Now, Clark is charged with identity theft and computer crimes. He is in jail on a $100,000 bond.
Clark works for Guardsmark, which is located on South 2nd Street in downtown Memphis.
Police say a woman gave Clark 46 tag numbers to high end vehicles that she had written down. In exchange for $1,000, investigators say he gave her names, social security numbers, addresses, and spousal information associated with the car tags.
They say he was able to find all of the information in an industry database called Lexis Nexis.
Andy Wilson, who is a private investigator with no ties to the case, Clark, or Guardsmark, says Lexis Nexis and other databases of its kind are powerful tools that must be used ethically.
He describes this identity theft as disappointing.
"Anything is a big deal when information is compromised and someone is victimized. So yes, it's absolutely a big deal," said Wilson.
According to an affidavit of complaint, the dollar loss exposure is over $1 million.
One man previously got taken for $8,500 in the same scheme when his online bank account was changed without his permission.
A spokesman for Guardsmark told Action News 5 by phone, "We have been advised not to comment on this situation."
The secret service declined to comment, too. They say the case is still under investigation and that more arrests are probable.
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