Former online survey worker sentenced to 18 months for stealing $492,000 in unclaimed Amazon gift cards
A Lexington, Kentucky man was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison on Monday, the Department of Justice wrote in a press release, for a data heist in which he abused his status as an employee of online polling company IntelliSurvey Inc. to snatch up nearly half a million dollars in unclaimed Amazon gift cards.
Per the DOJ, 38-year-old Thomas Scott Taylor was sentenced on a felony conviction of exceeding authorized access of a protected computer following an earlier guilty plea.
Both local police and the Secret Service participated in the investigation, concluding that Taylor had been privy to the existence of the database of unredeemed cards and—in what seems to have been a fairly glaring flaw in his burgeoning criminal scheme—credited them to his personal Amazon account, ordering thousands of items for his own use or to resell to others. Despite the suspicious volume of IntelliSurvey-purchased Amazon gift cards credited to his account, the DOJ said Taylor was able to get away with this plot for nearly six years: