News from BSO

STATE COMPUTER FILES PILFERED FOR PROFIT

BSO Case Number: BS02-03-10583
PIO Number: 02-3-49
Date: March 27, 2002
Place of Occurrence: 2626 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale

Victim(s):

  • State of Florida

Suspect(s):

  • Wolfgang Sharnoff, 49, 2/26/53, 2930 Forrest Hills Blvd., #202, Coral Springs, FL

Description of Incident:

A Coral Springs man is in the Broward Sheriff's Office main jail after investigators say he tried to sell private information from a state of Florida computer database.

Forty-nine year old Wolfgang Sharnoff had only employed with the state of Florida for a few months when he apparently began compiling a computer list of workers displaced from their jobs by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The German-born Sharnoff was a Coordinator for the state’s Agency For Workforce Innovation, with offices at 2626 W. Oakland Park Boulevard in Ft. Lauderdale. His office is responsible for using public funds to help find employment for those displaced workers.

On March 21, 2002, undercover investigators from the Broward Sheriff's Office were contacted by Florida’s Office of the Inspector General, informing detectives that Sharnoff was trying to sell the confidential list to private, vocational trade schools. Sharnoff’s asking price, $5.00 per name and an additional $150.00 for each person who enrolled in school. With the list of names at 415, Sharnoff stood to make nearly $65,000.00 from his scheme.

Working with state officials and school administrators, BSO detectives set up a sting to catch Sharnoff in the act. On March 27, 2002, an undercover investigator from the Broward Sheriff's Office, acting as an interested buyer, met with Sharnoff in Pembroke Pines. When Sharnoff handed over a partial list in exchange for more than $2,000.00, he was handcuffed, read his rights, and charged with one count each of bribery, offenses against computer users, organized scheme to defraud, and criminal use of personal identification. He is held on $8,000.00 bond.

Broward Sheriff's Office detectives continue the investigation and more arrests may follow.

INVESTIGATORS: Det. J. Leiner
THIS REPORT BY: Hugh Graf / PIO 3/29/02 12:00 pm

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