Identity Theft Hits Thousands of Medical Patients

Some people who handle sensitive data use their access to commit identity theft and fraud. Here are just a few trusted employees — from pharmacists and medical billers to state employees —  that authorities nabbed for allegedly using their access for personal gain.

Health Department Workers Use Stolen Patient Records for Tax Scheme
Former county health department employees are going to prison for stealing more than 2,000 patient identities and using them to file fraudulent tax returns totaling nearly $4 million, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Gerald Williams and Shanterica Smith worked at the Orange County Health Department in Florida. While the two did not actually know each other or work together, they both provided stolen patient information to the same people so they could claim false tax returns.

Delray Duncan, who did not work for the health department, facilitated some of the transactions.

Williams and Smith stole approximately 2,200 patient identities and handed them over to others for fraudulent tax returns totaling about $3.9 million.

Williams was sentenced to 4 years and 6 months in federal prison, and Smith to 5 years.

Duncan was sentenced to 3 years and 5 months. However, the others involved in helping file the fake returns have not been charged yet and the investigation is ongoing.

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Chicago Pharmacist Gets 7 years for Faking Prescriptions with Stolen Customer IDs
Chicago pharmacist Ronald Kielar was sentenced to 7 years in prison for stealing customer identities and faking prescription records, the Daily Herald reports.

Kielar was convicted of health care fraud, obstruction of justice and identity theft. Authorities say that between 2004 and 2010 Kielar made more than 600 false claims using stolen identities and charged insurance companies for prescriptions that were not distributed.

In addition to the prison term, Keiler was ordered to repay the $1.7 million he obtained from the scheme and forfeit nearly $78,000 from the sale of a Florida home purchased using the illegally obtained funds.

Police find Hospital Employee Holding More than 1,000 Patient Records
During an identity theft investigation, police in the Detroit area found a hospital employee had stolen the personal information of 1,087 employees, Detroit News reports.

Authorities won't comment on the employee's identity because the investigation is ongoing. However, police alerted the Detroit Medical Center-Harper University Hospital administration, which fired the employee in question and alerted its patients of the data theft.

The West Bloomfield Police Department told Detroit News that it “is partnering with local and federal agencies regarding this investigation.”

Final Defendant Sentenced in ID Theft Ring Targeting Retired State Employees
Former Minnesota state employee Roxanne Deflorin was sentenced to more than 4 years in prison for her role in an identity-theft ring that targeted retired state employees, ABC News reports. Deflorin was also ordered to repay more than $300,000 to victims.

Deflorin used her position with the state to steal more than 500 identities, while her co-defendants turned these identities into money using various scams.

Co-defendants Kristin Warren, Andrea Gunderson and Shauntell Burg were sentenced in March. Warren and Gunderson received 6-and-a-half years, while Burg received seven years, according to CBS Minnesota.

Student Charged with Stealing Patient Info. from Medical Billing Job
A Los Angeles woman who worked for a medical billing company faces criminal charges for allegedly stealing the identities of hundreds of patients, ABC News reports.

Reon Jordan, who was taking medical billing classes at West Los Angeles College, was arrested after a nine-month investigation by the Community College Bureau. She was charged with 21 counts of identity theft.

Jordan previously worked for ABEO medical billing, where she allegedly obtained identifying information for patients and then used it to pay for classes and school-related expenses.

Authorities found more than 400 identity profiles and complete credit card information for 200 people when they arrested Jordan, according to KTLA News.

So far, the investigation has uncovered 23 victims from locations including Los Angeles, Mammoth Lakes, Tennessee and Mississippi. Detectives believe there are other victims as well.

Jordan’s bail was set at $1.2 million, and if convicted, she faces more than 19 years in state prison to be served in county jail.

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