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Former VA Database Manager Charged With Trying to Sell Veterans’ Personal Info

2 min read

A 32-year-old Benton man, Phillip Hill, has been charged with three federal crimes for attempting to sell the personal information of veterans and employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, where he was formerly a database manager.

U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland of the Eastern District of Arkansas on Thursday announced the unsealing of an indictment that was issued by a federal grand jury in Little Rock on Jan. 9.

Specifically, Hill is charged with attempted trafficking of access devices, aggravated identity theft  and possession of device-making equipment.

Hill, who was terminated by the VA on Dec. 6, was arrested on Dec. 17. He was released on bond Thursday, and his trial is set for March 5, although first trial dates are routinely postponed.

A press release from Hiland’s office said Hill offered to sell the personal data of veterans, their dependents and VA employees for $100,000 to a confidential source working with law enforcement.

Even after being fired, Hill claimed he could access the information using a VA computer in his possession or by stealing a VA server. He was arrested outside a secure area that at the VA that housed the data he was offering for sale, and a search warrant found a VA computer at his home, the release said.

“Mr. Hill tried to use his position and skills to enrich himself at the expense of veterans who have honorably served our country, and the VA employees working to serve them,” Hiland said in the release. “This indictment reflects our commitment to defending our veterans and federal employees from those who take advantage of their public service by illegally accessing and selling their personal information. It will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The charges against Hill carry maximum sentences of between two and 15 years in federal prison.

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