Canada

3 arrested in connection with identity-theft ring targeting Quebec teachers

An investigation was launched two years ago after hundreds of Quebec teachers discovered they had been the victims of identity theft.

Computer hacker stealing data from a laptop concept for network security, identity theft, computer crime and unauthorised access [PNG Merlin Archive]

The Sûreté du Québec on Friday announced that it had made three arrests in connection with a data theft two years ago that saw the identities of hundreds of Quebec teachers stolen and used to commit fraud across the province.

The SQ’s financial crimes division, working in collaboration with the Quebec Education Ministry, announced it had arrested Frédéric Lapointe and Rath Pak, both 41, and 39-year-old Jimmy Saintelien.

The three suspects are expected to appear in court later on Friday to face charges that include identity theft, fraud, possession of counterfeit documents, unauthorized use of credit-card information and unauthorized use of a computer.

The arrests follow an investigation launched two years ago after dozens, then hundreds of Quebec teachers discovered they had been the victims of identity theft.

Last February, the Education Ministry acknowledged teachers’ personal information had been breached after SQ investigators working on the 2018 frauds discovered a data stick containing information on 52,000 teachers. The data had apparently been stolen from a government repertoire of active and retired teaching personnel.

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