Two Charged in Theft Scheme From Fidelity K Plan

March 7, 2005 ( - Two Illinois residents have been charged with stealing more than $100,000 from a Fidelity Investments 401(k) account by having it transferred to a bank account under a fictitious name.

According to a news report in the Chicago Daily Herald, the US Secret Service charged in a federal criminal complaint that defendants Matthew Carmickle, 22, of Chicago, and Loretta Pineda, 20, originally of the Philippines, got the Fidelity password from a third unnamed suspect in an online computer hackers chat site. The third suspect, who remains unapprehended, also explained how to set up the fictitious account, authorities said.

Pineda, using the fake name, Beata Kawa, set up the bank account and then used the hacker’s password to transfer $113,126.05 from the Fidelity account to the Kawa account on July 15, according to the complaint. Four days later, authorities say, Pineda and Carmickle withdrew $48,000 from the account and used the money to buy clothes, food, and a car.

According to the news report, federal officials did not say how the third suspect got the victim’s Fidelity password, but the complaint mentions “BOTs,” or robot computer viruses that can be passed along via the Internet or e-mail.

“The BOT can then be directed to copy computer keystrokes and relay those keystrokes back to the owner of the BOT,” the complaint said, according to the newspaper. “As a result, it is possible for hackers to obtain personal and financial information, including account numbers and pin numbers, off of the computers of unsuspecting Internet users.”