A federal grand jury has indicted the following five Maryland defendants on fraud and aggravated identity theft charges in connection with a scheme to use stolen hospital patient identity information to open fraudulent credit accounts and make purchases on “instant credit” at retail stores in Maryland:
Michael Allen, age 34, of Baltimore,
Jasmine Amber Smith, age 25, of Nottingham,
Tyrell Douglas McCormick, age 22, of Baltimore,
Ayanna Devon Johnson, age 38, of Baltimore, and
Gloria Canada, age 54, of Baltimore.
The superseding indictment was returned on September 15, 2010 and unsealed today upon the arrest of the final defendant, Gloria Canada.
According to the 39 count superseding indictment, while employed by Johns Hopkins Hospital from August 2007 to March 2009, Smith is alleged to have improperly accessed the records of the hospital’s patients to obtain the personal identity information of patients and the parents and guardians of minor patients, including names, social security numbers, dates of birth and addresses. Smith allegedly provided the stolen identity information to Johnson and Canada. From May 2008 to June 2009, Allen and McCormick allegedly used the stolen information to apply for instant credit at stores located in Maryland and make purchases on “instant credit” before the fraudulently-obtained credit cards were received by the victims.
The indictment alleges that during the course of the scheme, the defendants fraudulently obtained over $600,000 in credit from over 50 institutional and individual victims.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and two years in prison consecutive to any other sentence for aggravated identity theft. In addition, McCormick and Allen face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for bank fraud and 15 years in prison for access device fraud. Canada is scheduled to have her initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore today at 2:00 p.m.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Maryland
Note: I’m not sure whether we already knew about this breach or not and am trying to sort that out. Check back for an update on Friday as to whether this indictment is a follow-up to a previously reported incident or is entirely new.
Cross-posted from PHIprivacy.net