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Alleged hackers deny culpability Neal Putnam | Sat, Aug 16 2014 12:00 PM

A Chula Vista man pleaded not guilty Aug. 1 to a superseding indictment from a federal grand jury that alleges he and two others committed identity theft and wire fraud by computer hacking into a mortgage business.

Jason Ray Bailey, 38, was previously charged in February with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and computer hacking and remains in the Metropolitan Correctional Center without bail.

Three counts of aggravated identity theft were added against co-defendant Victor Alejandro Fernandez, 38; he also pleaded not guilty. Fernandez remains free on a $100,000 property bond with conditions that he live with family members in Mammoth Lakes.

Also indicted Aug. 1 on three wire fraud counts was John Gordon Baden, age and address unknown as he is a fugitive, according to court records.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges Bailey and the other two men hacked the computer servers of an unnamed mortgage broker and obtained mortgage applications containing customers’ Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, assets, tax information and driver’s licenses.

Approximately 4,200 customers had their information stolen between December 2012 and June 2013. Their information was used to impersonate them in opening credit lines in their names to try and steal their assets.
The losses to customers have not been totaled yet but some people lost between $20,000 and $30,000, according to federal prosecutors.

There are others in the conspiracy, but they have not been named.

U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel set an Oct. 31 trial date for Bailey and Fernandez. If convicted, they both could face federal prison terms for 35 years each.

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