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UC Teacher Assistant Steals Identity

A teacher assistant working formerly at the Cincinnati University has been held for launching a phishing scam to commit identity theft on his three colleagues and use their credit card details to fraudulently make purchases of up to $8,000.

UC police has charged 34-year old Diego Garcia who lives in Martin Luther King Drive's 700 block in Clifton with three instances of identity fraud.

Garcia taught in the UC's department of Romance Languages. He was among the well-respected teaching assistants across the campus.

Garcia was taken in custody on January 2, 2007. He was put to trial in the Municipal Court of Hamilton County the next day but freed on a bond of $3,000. He is scheduled to appear in court on January 12, 2007.

The court records that Garcia employed a phishing scam in order to swipe the personal data of the other three teaching assistants in of Romance Languages' Department of the University and used the information to use credit cards make online purchases in the names of the cardholders.

Garcia dispatched fake e-mails to seize credit cards, according to court documents. Garcia, a native of Columbia allegedly used those cards to order items worth hundreds of dollars and asked them to be delivered in his office at the university. The police said he was spotted on videotape collecting a package.

Garcia knew that his fellow students were working off-campus assignments so he had the goods given to their campus mailboxes.

Some of his potential students were taken by surprise from the news of Garcia's arrest and were confused who was really the captain of their class.

According to the police, part of the pilfered goods was found at Garcia's office and home. The total value of the purchased property has not been figured out, as some of the items are still undelivered. The last order he made amounted to $1,500. More packages continue to arrive.

Garcia has finished the work on his recent project and remaining duties of a teaching assistant, said Greg Hand, US spokesman. He added that the university's Office of Judicial Affairs would determine Garcia's future status as the student of UC.

Related article: US Passes Baton to Asia in Spam Relay

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