CORRECTION: One of the nine people arrested in connection with illegally accessing President Barack Obama's student records was incorrectly reported in the May 13 and May 25 editions of the Times. According to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Iowa, Anne C. Rhodes, of Iowa City, was charged with exceeding authorized computer access. The release stated: "Ms. Rhodes has been misidentified in press reports as Anna C. Rhodes of Ainsworth, IA. Anna C. Rhodes, who is also known as Anna C. Rhodes-Gray, of Ainsworth, IA, had no involvement in the charged offense."
Nine people are accused of accessing the student loan records of Barack Obama when he was a candidate for president, president-elect and president.
The indictments were handed up in U.S. District Court, Davenport, and unsealed Wednesday.
The nine people worked for a Department of Education contractor in Coralville, Iowa.
Those charged are Andrew J. Lage, 54, Patrick E. Roan, 51, Sandra Teague, 54 and Mercedes Costoyas, 53, all of Iowa City; Gary N. Grenell, 58, and Lisa Torney, 49, of Coralville; Anne C. Rhodes, of Iowa City, Iowa; Julie L. Kline, 38, of West Branch, Iowa; and John P. Phommivong, 29, for whom no hometown was listed.
They are charged with exceeding computer access. Each faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine, if convicted.
Officials say that between July 26, 2007, and March 13, 2009, the defendants accessed the records while working for the contractor.
Each of indictments posted online were brief, saying the charged individual “intentionally exceeded authorized access to a computer and thereby obtained information from a department and agency of the United States” and “intentionally accessed student loan records” of Obama without authorization.
Six are accused of accessing Obama’s records when he was a candidate, according to the indictments online. One is accused of accessing the records when he was president-elect. Details of the remaining indictments were not immediately available online.
Arraignment on the charges is set for 2 p.m. May 24 in Davenport. The charge is punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
The case was investigated by the Department of Education, Office of Inspector General.
Lage told The Associated Press on Wednesday evening he did not know about the indictment and declined comment.
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One of the women named in the federal indictment says she did not access Obama’s records.
“I don’t know what the others did, but I know that I did not do it,” Sandra Teague told a reporter for Cedar Rapids television station KCRG.
While the indictment did not identify the Department of Education contractor, Teague said she and four others named in the indictment had worked at Vangent Inc.
Vangent contracts to handle incoming calls for a variety of agencies, including calls on federal student aid for the U.S. Department of Education and calls regarding Medicare and Medicaid for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.While working at Vangent, Teague said, she helped people complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form.
Teague said she was questioned about the records breach by special agents for the Department of Education and Office of the Inspector General.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)