Police in St. Albans are looking for a burglar that broke into the Ford and Chrysler division of Paquin Motors in St. Albans last night. Continue reading “ST. ALBANS POLICE SEARCH FOR NIGHTTIME BURGLAR”
By Michael Bielawski
MONTPELIER — Vermont is getting a cut of a $17.5 million settlement between multiple states and the owner of AshleyMadison.org, the extramarital affairs service exposed of fraud after hackers released private data on 36 million customers.
Attorney General William Sorrell has been at the forefront of an investigative effort into the security breach that occurred in July 2015. As announced on Wednesday, the Green Mountain State will receive an initial payout of $116,000 from the multimillion dollar settlement.
“The State Attorneys General, and Vermont in particular, have been in the vanguard of protecting consumers’ privacy online,” Sorrell said in a written statement. “There is not a different standard simply because a consumer adopts a particular lifestyle. Fraud is fraud and it is against the law.”
In a separate conference call with media, Sorrell estimated that about 16,000 Vermonters have used the site.
In 2015, cyber-criminals hacked into the AshleyMadison.com system and stole user information including emails, photos, bank account information, sexual affair preferences and more.
The breach also revealed that Ashley Madison created thousands of fake user profiles to lure real customers, and misled users about a $19 “full delete” option that failed to erase user data properly.
The Federal Trade Commission concluded that blackmail and extortion were commonplace as result. In addition, at least two suicides were attributed to the breach.
According to FTC Chair Edith Ramirez, who spoke on the teleconference, the leak transferred more than 9.7 gigabytes of information and affected 36 million users worldwide. She said it it was among the largest online privacy cases in the FTC’s history.
Lawmakers and the incoming governor’s administration will decide how to spend the settlement money, Sorrell said. He added that Vermont’s cut is larger than the amounts awarded to other states because his office took the lead role in the investigation, which spread to Canada, Australia, and more than 15 government agencies.
“Vermont is a small state, but we take enforcement of our consumer protection laws very seriously,” Sorrell said during the teleconference.
Initially, AshleyMadison.com owner ruby Corp. will pay $1,657,000. The rest of the $17.5 million is being suspended due to the company’s current inability to pay. The online service also must undergo independent monitoring and adhere to strict security standards.
“We thought to obtain a judgment that, in particular, reflected the amount that users had actually paid to Ashley Madison,” Ramirez said. “ … We do not think it would serve the public interest to put this company out of business.”
A St. Albans teen accused of taking advantage of five teen girls who attend BFA St. Albans and Missisquoi Valley Union High School is asking the judge in the case to move the hearing to Family court where the proceedings would be secret and closed to the public.
The man who allegedly ran down his ex-wife and two bystanders early Sunday morning has been held without bail after his arraignment in Franklin County Criminal Court on Monday afternoon.
Chad Ely, 28, of St. Albans was charged with three counts of Second-Degree Attempted Murder.
Each of the second-degree murder charges could land Ely in prison for up to 20 years.
He is also being charged with First-Degree Domestic Assault and two counts of Assault with a deadly weapon. Continue reading “WITNESS: MAN RAN OVER VICTIM’S HEAD”
St. Albans, VT – Santa traded in his sleigh for a tractor at the third annual holiday tractor parade on Friday, December 9. Crowds gathered to watch the parade of over 45 farm tractors decorated for the season with holiday lights and more as they made their way from the farm fields to Main Street. Continue reading “TRACTOR PARADE DRAWS LARGE CROWD”
ST. ALBANS: At around 9:16am, police in St. Albans received a 911 call from Citizen’s Bank. The caller would end up hanging up on the 911 dispatcher, but police learned moments later that there was a lone, black male that had entered the bank- requesting money. Continue reading “POLICE SEARCH FOR BANK ROBBER”
HIGHGATE SPRINGS: Custom’s and Border Protection Agents contacted the Vermont State Police on Tuesday about an irate man that was in custody at the border crossing. Continue reading “TRICKS DON’T GET YOU ACROSS THE BORDER”
Police have named the man that was arrested at a Richford home Sunday evening.
According to police, Lee Dumas, 32, of Richford is being accused of Aggravated Operation Without Owner’s Consent, Driving Under the Influence (5th offense), Operating After Suspension, Aggravated Disorderly Conduct, Retail Theft, and Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer with bodily fluids.