Half Million More Taxpayers Info on Stolen Computer Device in Ohio

July 13, 2007

The names and Social Security numbers of a half million more taxpayers were on a computer storage device stolen from a state intern last month, more than tripling the number previously reported, Gov. Ted Strickland said this week.

Information on 561,126 additional taxpayers with uncashed state income refund checks has been located in the state’s continuing review of the device. That brings the total number of those taxpayers with information on the device to more than 786,000, Strickland said.

However, Strickland continued to emphasize that there is no evidence the information has been accessed, following its theft June 10 from a state intern’s unlocked car.

No ID theft cases have been reported and extracting the data on the device would require a high degree of knowledge and specialized equipment, he said.

The theft at an apartment complex in suburban Hilliard prompted Strickland to hire an independent computer security expert to determine whether someone would be able to access the device’s data.

In addition to the taxpayer information, it contained the names and Social Security numbers of all 64,000 state employees and of lottery winners who have yet to cash winning tickets.

The device also held the names and case numbers of the state’s 84,000 welfare recipients.

Strickland said a grand total of affected people has not yet been calculated because some people’s names could be duplicated among the various groups whose information was included on the device.

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