Probe Continues into Former Pension Benefits Officer

September 10, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Indiana officials are still investigating the activities of the state pension fund's former chief benefits officer who was arrested last week for identity theft.

The Associated Press reported that Walter Kevin Scott’s pension fund job gave him access to the Social Security numbers, death records, and bank account numbers for the 200,000 member employees of the $11-billion Public Employees’ Retirement Fund.

The AP said Scott was hired in November even though he served two months in federal prison for stealing the names and Social Security numbers of two people to fraudulently secure loans and lines of credit. Scott was convicted in Ohio in 1996.

According to the AP, Scott was charged again with identity theft in his most recent arrest with allegations he stole another Kevin Scott’s social security number in order to pass a state background check.

Three Days of System Access

The problem, officials said, is that Scott had access to his state laptop computer for three days after he was ejected from the pension fund’s headquarters and could have gotten into personal data on thousands of government employees. Indiana State Police eventually seized two computers, two Palm Pilots, discs and a variety of documents including a passport from Scott’s Bloomington home.
 
This $95,000-a-year high-level job gave him access to almost all parts of the pension fund. Not only did he have access to personal information, he also had the capacity to set up fictitious pension accounts and funnel money there, the AP said.

State officials, who have assured employees that their pensions are safe, aren’t answering basic questions about Scott’s hiring.

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