A 16-year-old high school student working at a Hicksville division of Chase Bank through a school internship, was arrested last week for allegedly changing customers' credit card account information in the computer and purchasing more than $30,000 of sports paraphernalia over the Internet.
The student, who worked in the Chase Bankcard services division, was arrested on Wednesday, Oct. 9. He is charged with grand larceny - 3rd degree and computer tampering - 3rd degree. According to police, this particular incident dates back to early August 2002.
The student was working at the bank as part of the Westbury School District's School-to-Career internship program. Placement in the program required several screenings and interviews and he was selected for the position out of a group of 20 students. According to police, 13 other Westbury students are currently fulfilling internships at the same bank. Whether or not they are involved in the crime is still under investigation.
"Everyone in the program is going to be interviewed," said Detective Richard Massa of the Nassau County Crimes Against Property Squad. "The process could take a week or so."
In a prepared statement, Dr. Constance Clarke, superintendent of Westbury Schools, said, "The Westbury School District is extremely saddened by the arrest of one of our students on these charges. We are consulting with law enforcement authorities to obtain more information about the allegations as they investigate this unfortunate, isolated incident. We remain proud of our many hardworking, honest student interns and we highly value our community partnerships which are preparing youngsters to be responsible, successful citizens."
Although this particular incident involved credit card theft via the Internet, Det. Massa said such crimes are not limited to purchases made using a computer. "It's not the Internet as much as it's the job description," he said. "[In this case,] his job description gave him access to the computer and information that as an employee he has access to. [As consumers, we are] relying on the fact that [employees] are not using our information without authorization."
The student was arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead. This is allegedly his first offense.