Stealing customer info costs Ameriprise vet his job, lands him in prison
- Article by: PAUL WALSH
- Star Tribune
- April 3, 2012 - 7:34 PM
A veteran employee for Minneapolis-based Ameriprise Financial Services has been sentenced to three years in prison for using his "limitless access" to customers' confidential information to steal more than $180,000 in a conspiracy entangled in a sexual relationship.
Riccardo S. Box, 41, of Minneapolis, was sentenced Monday in federal court in St. Paul after pleading guilty to bank fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft in 2008 and 2009.
In a court filing last week seeking to serve no more than probation or supervised release, Box argued that he had always been law-abiding and loved working at Ameriprise until his job there ended after more than 12 years because of the allegations against him.
Box also noted that after he and now-convicted co-defendant Demetrius Thomas "became sexual," Thomas grabbed his throat and threatened to kill him if he didn't provide more customer information. Box said he gave in to Thomas and didn't go to police out of fear for his safety and the "threat of others learning of his private secret."
The U.S. attorney's office sought a prison term of more than five years for Box, describing him in a court filing as "an insider with literally limitless access to the confidential information of the company's customers."
Box also demonstrated a "complete lack of judgment" by risking his career "in order to please and/or appease a potential mate," the government added.
In his plea agreement, Box admitted that from March 2008 through November 2009, he provided data to his co-conspirators, who then used that information to obtain credit cards for many purchases.
In total, more than 10 people had information stolen, resulting in losses of at least $184,000 and attempted losses of more than $22,000.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482
© 2013 Star Tribune