FAFSA Hacker Targeted Trump Tax Info

"The person accused of a 2016 attempt to use a web-based federal student-aid tool to illegally obtain taxpayer information is a Louisiana-based private investigator who used the tool to target then-presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, court records obtained by Diverse show," according to Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.
 
"The records allege that when Jordan Hamlett, 31, met FBI agents in the atrium of the Embassy Suites in Baton Rouge, he 'immediately volunteered that he had committed the crime and he even sounded proud of what he had done.'
 
The records allege that Hamlett 'unlawfully attempted to obtain Trump’s federal tax information from the U.S. Department of Education and IRS using the web application Federal Student Aid – Datashare.' The application enables students to more easily fill out the FAFSA — or Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
 
By using the tool students could have their IRS data automatically populated into the FAFSA. The Federal Student Aid — Datashare  (FSA-D) application  was shut down in March 2017 due to security concerns. FSA-D is the IRS’s internal name for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, better known as the IRS DRT.
 
The fact that Hamlett is described in court records as a private investigator raised questions about his possible motive. ...
 
'The DRT outage harms students and families in multiple ways, making the FAFSA more difficult to complete, making more students subject to verification, and leaving families with fewer available financial aid office resources for help navigating the financial aid process,' Justin S. Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, or NASFAA, testified earlier this month before the U.S. House committee on oversight and government reform."
 
NASFAA's "Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.

 

Publication Date: 5/22/2017

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