By Brian New

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) –  A North Texas software company says it has developed a system to prevent identity theft ‘once and for all’ – thanks to a felon.

George Gundling, the CEO of the Plano-based Saas Software Inc. (SSi), said he was extremely skeptical at first when a former identity thief approached his software company with the idea.

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“My first thought was, ‘Is this real?’” Gundling said.

But after showing the idea to several security experts, he was convinced he could be looking at the solution to a multi-billion dollar problem.

The Dallas felon who came up with what’s referred to as the Identity Authentication System agreed to talk with the CBS11 ITeam on the condition of anonymity.

During the 90s, he said he was a part of an identity theft ring in North Texas. He bought social security numbers, ran check cashing scams, and made millions of dollars doing it.

“It shocked me how easy it was,” he said about running the scams. “I didn’t have any idea you could make so much money with an ink pen.”

Had he not ended up in prison on an unrelated charge, he said he would still be running his scams today.

However, while he sat in his cell at the Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony, Texas, he began to think about why identity theft was ‘easy’ to get away with.

He said his cellmates would often brag about their scams and the money they stole.

“That jail turned out to be a cesspool of nothing but knowledge,” he explained. “They would never sit down with an FBI agent and divulge and brag about the nuances of how they made their money.”

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By the time he finished his 15-year sentence, he said he had gathered enough knowledge about how the scams worked, that he came up with a formula to prevent them. He said he discovered how to prevent identity theft.

At the root of nearly every identity theft is a stolen social security number. The key, he said, was figuring a way to protect that social security number.

While in prison he tested hundreds of theories before coming up with what he said is the right combination of identity verifications. Using his patent combination of a pin number system, finger prints, and facial recognition whenever a social security number is needed, he said his system will stop identity theft.

“There is no human way to get around this system,” he said.

For this idea to work, however; SSi said either the IRS or a major bank must first be on board.

That could prove to be a hard sell, especially considering the idea came from a Texas prison.

The Department of Justice reported nearly 17 million people in 2012 had their identities stolen.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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