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Florida Cops: Missing Hard Drives With Taxpayer Info Were Taken by Custodian to Download Xbox Games

Illustration for article titled Florida Cops: Missing Hard Drives With Taxpayer Info Were Taken by Custodian to Download Xbox Games
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Last month, several external hard drives with confidential state taxpayer information went missing from the Florida Department of Revenue. And this week, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested the suspected culprit: 21-year-old Andru Reed, who allegedly took the hard drives home to download video games for his Xbox.


In late March, the Florida Department of Revenue said it had opened an investigation into the disappearance of three hard drives “believed to contain personal identifying information” from employee workstations. On Tuesday, the FDLE said it found a total of four hard drives that contained “confidential taxpayer information” at Reed’s home in Tallahassee. He has been arrested on felony intellectual property and computer-related charges.

Reed worked as a custodian contracted with the state, a department spokesperson told the Tampa Bay Times. According to police, Reed claimed that he connected the hard drives to his Xbox to download games without knowing what type of information was on them. The FDLE said that it doesn’t look like any information has been used or shared, but is still investigating the situation.


“Through the details presented, we are confident that the information on the drives was not accessed,” Florida Department of Revenue Executive Director Leon Biegalski said in a statement.

While it’s unclear exactly what type of taxpayer information was on the drives, the Florida Department of Revenue manages the state’s child support payments and oversees its general and property taxes.

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No mention of how a custodian had access to confidential drives, or if they were just left on desks in plain sight.