Neiman Marcus Says Information On 160,000 People Stolen

Tuesday, April 24th 2007, 3:41 pm
By: News On 6

DALLAS (AP) _ A computer stolen from a Neiman Marcus consultant contained personal information on nearly 160,000 current and former employees, the luxury retailer said Tuesday.

The company said there was no indication yet that the thieves had tapped into the personal information, which included individuals' names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birth dates and salaries.

The stolen notebook computer belonged to a pension-benefits consultant hired by Neiman Marcus. It was taken April 5 from a technician hired by the consultant, according to a Neiman Marcus spokeswoman.

Ginger Reeder, the spokeswoman, said Neiman Marcus was told about the theft April 10 but was asked by police not to release information about the theft until this week while the case was investigated. She declined to say where the theft occurred, other than that it wasn't in Dallas.

Reeder said other items were taken, leading the company to believe that the thieves weren't after information about the Neiman Marcus employees.

Neiman Marcus declined to identify the consultant. Reeder said it was not the company's regular pension benefits administrator, Fidelity Investments.

Neiman Marcus hired the consultant several years ago to maintain information on pension plan participants and has had no previous problems, Reeder said.

The stolen computer contained detailed personal information on employees and former employees who were in the pension plan as of Aug. 30, 2005. Employees hired since then are not affected, the company said.

The employees work or worked for Neiman Marcus Stores, Neiman Marcus Direct, Bergdorf Goodman, Horchow, Horchow Finale, Last Call, Chefs Catalog, and Contempo Casuals. People getting a Neiman Marcus Group pension as of mid-2005 also had their information on the stolen computer.

Neiman Marcus Group has close to 17,000 current employees.

The Dallas-based retailer said it hired credit-reporting agency Equifax to provide credit protection for at least a year to all the people whose information was stolen.

In a letter to the affected employees, Chairman and Chief Executive Burt Tansky said Neiman Marcus was reviewing the theft and considering what steps it might take to improve security of information handled by outside parties.

``We will do everything we can to prevent a recurrence,'' Tansky wrote to employees.