Fugitive sought
in identity theft is
captured in Florida

A federal fugitive who had access to Social Security numbers of thousands at the University of Hawaii and was indicted on identity theft charges was caught in Florida yesterday, the U.S. attorney's office announced.

Deborah D. Jenkins has been on the run for eight months since she and her husband, Paul O. Jenkins, both former students, were indicted in October by a federal grand jury in Honolulu for identity theft, bank theft and conspiracy.

Deborah Jenkins, a UH student worker within the UH-Manoa library system in 2003, had access to the university's database, including Social Security numbers, addresses and phone numbers of 150,000 students, faculty, staff and library patrons at all 10 UH campuses between 1999 and 2003.

On Friday, UH officials warned those possibly affected to take precautions against identity theft.

Jenkins submitted a Nellie Mae loan application to State Street Bank & Trust Company in Braintree, Mass., that contained fraudulent information.

The couple was indicted in October for allegedly obtaining student loans using other people's Social Security numbers and birth dates.

Paul Jenkins was arrested in February in Florida and pleaded guilty last month. He and his family received more than $48,000 in student loans by using fraudulent information from August 2001 through 2002, according to his plea agreement.

Hawaii U.S. Attorney Edward Kubo Jr. commended the U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Secret Service, who conducted the investigation. The Florida Highway Patrol assisted in the investigation.

"ID theft gives criminals the means, the opportunity and the incentive to steal from innocent victims while avoiding detection and arrest," Kubo said. "Because of the nature of these crimes, my office will continue to vigorously prosecute these offenses in federal court."

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