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Collection Firm Files Seized in Fraud Probe

December 17, 1987

A yearlong investigation of computer fraud involving 31 law-enforcement agencies led Department of Motor Vehicles investigators to a Sherman Oaks debt-collection firm, where they removed business records Wednesday, a DMV investigator said.

Gary Naylor, supervising investigator for the DMV's Arleta office, said telephone records show that "hundreds" of calls were made to various city, county and state law-enforcement agencies from the California Financial Credit Co. on Ventura Boulevard in the past year.

Jay Levy, president of California Financial Credit Co., said, "It's our understanding that the investigation was into the activities of a former employee or employees." He said the 9-year-old firm's principals knew of no acts of computer fraud.

Investigators are seeking a woman who called criminal-justice agencies posing as a law-enforcement officer to obtain individual driver's-license and vehicle-registration information, Naylor said.

Improperly obtaining such information from state computers is a felony punishable by up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Naylor said the information may have been used by the debt-collection agency or its employees to find people who had not paid their bills. No one has been arrested in the investigation.

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