Ind. County Employees Learn Records Stolen in Computer Theft

June 30, 2006

The names, birthdates and Social Security numbers of about 1,200 Allen County government employees were on a computer stolen from an insurance company office, officials said.

Several Allen County employees received letters Monday from California-based Medical Excess LLC, telling them a file server, two laptop computers and a camera were stolen March 31 from a Midwestern regional office.

Chris Winans, spokesman for American Insurance Group (AIG), the parent company for Medical Excess, said he did not believe the employee records were targeted.

“We think the thief was after hardware, not data,” he said.

Insurance Journal spoke with Chris Winans earlier and confirmed that letters were being sent out to 970,000 individuals whose personal information was in the hard drive of the stolen computer. The letter included information about access to a call center for individuals who had concerns about the safety of their information.

Allen County human resources director Brian Dumford said it was too early to know whether county employees’ identities were in jeopardy.

“We’re trying to get ahold of Medical Excess to find out what data was taken and what we can do as employers to help protect our employees,” he said.

Dumford said the 1,200 employees on the county’s insurance plan would most likely be in danger. He received a letter Monday, and many employees began asking about the notices Tuesday. He said neither the county, the county’s insurance agent nor the county’s third-party administrator was notified of the theft except by the letters.

“Obviously, we would have preferred to find out about it from the vendor as quickly as they found out about it,” said John McGauley, spokesman for the Allen County commissioners.

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