- by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
Six years ago, D'Elia retired from the Newark force after taking disability and went on to open a private investigation business.
The arrests followed an investigation into the men allegedly accessing an insurance database which is made available to police departments investigating insurance fraud and then selling that information afterwards. Both men have been charged with:
- two counts of computer theft
- one count of conspiracy for illegally accessing a private computer database
“The public should not have to worry that
sensitive information will be illegally accessed," Murray stated.
"These defendants at this juncture stand accused of
compromising the public’s trust."
The prosecutor's office alledge that on more than 900 occasions Buono and D’Elia
accessed the department's insurance database and collected sensitive personal information which they then sold to third parties at $100 per search. The computer breach was identified by December, 2014, and the prosecutor's office launched the investigation.
Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Walter J. Dirkin explained today that on Aug. 1, 2014, Buono contacted the third party and identified himself on a form as being the Administrator for the Newark Police Department. Buono apparently stated that the former Administrator left to work for another company and that he would be taking his place and handling his duties. In this way, the captain was reportedly able to use his position as a police officer to gain access to the database.
Dirkin further related that Buono then reportedly gave D’Elia access to the database and it was D’Elia who then sold the data as part of his private investigation business.
If convicted, both men face 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison on each count.