Following a thorough internal investigation, Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) Tax Enforcement Agents arrested an employee on charges that confidential taxpayer information was viewed without authorization.
DRS employee Adrian Nelson, 33, of Windsor was arrested at DRS headquarters on one count each of Unauthorized Inspection of Tax Return Information and Computer Crime in the third degree. The arrest warrant alleges Nelson used his DRS computer to access confidential taxpayer information without a legitimate business need.
“Ensuring the confidentiality of taxpayer information is the highest priority at DRS,” Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan said. “DRS has zero tolerance for this type of alleged behavior and we have taken the appropriate steps to investigate and prosecute. This isolated incident is regretful as staff is reminded daily of its responsibility to protect taxpayer information. I have confidence in my staff at DRS and believe that they fully understand their duty to protect taxpayer information. I am extremely pleased that the advanced technology and processes DRS has put in place works well to identify any improper access to confidential data.”
The Commissioner said the investigation has not uncovered any evidence the information was used for any additional purposes. Notification is being sent by priority mail to the 15 taxpayers whose information was confirmed to have been accessed by Nelson without authorization. They will be given the option to receive two years of free identity theft protection.
Following his arrest, Nelson, an employee in the department’s Collection and Enforcement Division, was released on a $5,000 non-surety bond, and is scheduled to appear in the Hartford Superior Court on September 30, 2011.
Computer crime in the third degree is a class D felony punishable by imprisonment of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. Unauthorized inspection of tax return information is an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.