LOC Staffer Dismissed For ID Theft

At Least 5 Employees Had Identities Stolen

Posted July 28, 2008 at 6:14pm

A Library of Congress employee working in the human resources office allegedly stole the identities of at least five colleagues, prompting his dismissal last week.

Willie Sinclair Jr. admitted to the crime and resigned from his position, according to several sources. His case is now in the hands of federal prosecutors.

Library spokesman Matt Raymond declined to give details about the incident, citing upcoming criminal proceedings. But a notice sent to Library staff last week alerted employees of “a breach of personally identifiable information.”

The office of LOC Inspector General Karl Schornagel began investigating last month after two employees contacted him because they suspected their identities had been stolen. On July 21, Schornagel’s office discovered the “source of the breach,” according to the notice.

“This action is disconcerting and [Human Resources Services] is taking every reasonable precaution to prevent the recurrence of this unfortunate event,” the notice reads. “HRS is carefully examining our internal controls and work processes to ensure that personally identifiable information for Library staff is secured.”

Library officials wouldn’t release Sinclair’s specific position, and Justice Department spokesman Channing Phillips declined to comment. Neither party would disclose what Sinclair had done with the personal information he allegedly took.

But a “New Employees Orientation Guide” packet on the Library’s Web site lists a Willie Sinclair as the point of contact for help with security for “non-sensitive” positions, and a knowledgeable source said his position gave him access to the private information of some employees.

The Library has more than 3,600 employees, and criminal convictions are rare. But Sinclair’s alleged crime comes about two months after another LOC employee was convicted of child pornography.

Michael Matheron, 58, pleaded guilty to possession of material involving child pornography. Matheron used both his home and LOC computers to store images of “naked young boys engaging in sexually explicit conduct,” according to a May press release for Justice. Matheron was a Congressional research specialist in the American Law Division.

Raymond said this is the first time a Library employee has been charged with stealing the personal information of a colleague. Phillips also said he is not aware of any similar cases.