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The former employee of an internet-based gambling website has admitted he used his position in the company's credit department to steal the identities of some of its clients.

Patrick Kalonji, 27, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, pleaded guilty in US District Court in the Southern District of New York late last week. While living in Costa Rica, he worked for BetOnSports.com, which was one source used to steal the personal information of victims. In all, Kalonji and his unnamed cohorts defrauded 150 people, including those residing in Texas, Florida, Arkansas, and California.

Kalonji - who also went by the names Patrick Kalonji Ngoyi and Patrick Mazimpaka - stole the victims' names, birth dates, addresses, mothers' maiden names, social security numbers, and other personal details. He shared them with other members of a criminal enterprise using two Yahoo.com email addresses. Those members used the stolen information to steal money from victims' credit cards and bank accounts and book round-trip airline tickets from Nigeria to New York.

The conspiracy lasted from July 2002 through August 2004, according to an indictment filed in the case. Kalonji faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for January 6. ®

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